John McLaughlin

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: California Hard-Edge Art

September 24, 2018

Peter Loughrey takes over the blog to discuss his favorite items in the September 30, 2018 Modern Art & Design Auction. Read about the California Hard-Edge artists in today’s post.

California Hard Edge

October 5, 2017

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Hard Edge painting wasn’t always the term used to describe California’s first fully native Modernist art movement. A genre unto itself, critics and artists alike struggled to find an appropriate moniker to characterize the wholly new form of geometric abstraction that emerged on the West Coast during the late 1950s.

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: John McLaughlin

October 3, 2016

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

The first modernist master to emerge from Southern California, the elegant work of John McLaughlin (1898–1976) is characterized by a calm austerity, often associated with Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism. The influence of Zen Buddhist painting on Mclaughlin’s work is apparent in the two masterpieces available at auction on October 9, with their repeated geometric forms and toned down palette. The consistency of his vision and commitment to abstraction proved influential on the following generation of Los Angeles Light and Space artists like Robert Irwin and Larry Bell. McLaughlin’s legacy will be explored in an exhibition at LACMA this fall and the LAMA sale is an excellent opportunity to acquire his work before this career-defining retrospective.

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Richard Prince

February 17, 2016

Lot 189, Richard Prince, Bedtime Story (1988)

Learn what Richard Prince’s Bedtime Story has in common with the work of artists as various as Andy Warhol, John McLaughlin, and Donald Judd in today’s Peter’s Auction Pick. “To my mind, one of the hallmarks of a great work of art is that it resonates with associations and allusions. By that measure, Bedtime Story—the cover lot in our February 21st Auction of modern art and design—is a tour de force.”

John McLaughlin: Uncompromised Form

February 8, 2016

Lot 176, John McLaughlin, Untitled (1958)

Regarded as one of the great American painters of the 20th century, John McLaughlin is yet one of the most underappreciated. His work in the 1950s helped define the Hard-Edge school of geometric abstract painting, and his serene, almost austere canvases were in particular seen as a West Coast counterpoint to the assertiveness of New York Abstract Expressionism. His work would have a profound impact on Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, James Turrell, and other members of the Los Angeles Light and Space movement. LAMA is pleased to offer three works by McLaughlin on February 21, 2016.

Just In: A Sculptural Alberto Giacometti Floor Lamp

December 7, 2015

Alberto Giacometti Floor Lamp February 21, 2016 Auction

Simultaneously a work of fine art and a stunning design object, an example of the sculptor Alberto Giacometti’s Lampadaire à tête de femme—listed as item no. 3499 in the Alberto Giacometti Database—will be a featured lot in the Los Angeles Modern Auctions February 21, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction featuring Frank Lloyd Wright’s George D. Sturges Residence and property from the Estate of Jack Larson to benefit The Bridges/Larson Foundation.

John McLaughlin, Totally Abstract

November 23, 2015

John McLaughlin rare work, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)
Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to announce that a rare early gouache on illustration board by John McLaughlin (1898-1976) will be on offer in our February 21, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction. This work, and another composition of oil on wood panel, have remained in the McLaughlin family for two generations. Hailed by art critic and his “fervent admirer” Christopher Knight as “the first great artist to emerge in Southern California following World War II,” McLaughlin was one of the original Abstract Classicists known for Hard Edge painting.

Classic Frederick Hammersley Painting

September 16, 2015


“Abstract Classicist painting is hard-edged painting. Forms are finite, flat, rimmed by a hard clean edge.” Curator Jules Langsner both defined a movement by exhibiting four artists–Frederick Hammersley, Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin–together under the banner “Four Abstract Classicists” in 1959, and is credited for coining the term Hard Edge painting. Noteworthy for putting West Coast abstraction on the map, the exhibition Four Abstract Classicists was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and traveled internationally. In this exhibition, painter Frederick Hammersley (1919–2009) first gained critical recognition. Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to offer a stunning example by Hammersley from 1959, which comes with significant exhibition history in the upcoming October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design auction.