Jackson Pollock

Go to LACMA for John McLaughlin, possibly the most important postwar artist you don't know

Go to LACMA for John McLaughlin, possibly the most important postwar artist you don't know

Once the canon of great artists is established, altering it is next to impossible.

Case in point: the introspective, quietly breathtaking art of John McLaughlin (1898-1976). His geometric abstract paintings are the subject of a gorgeous retrospective exhibition that opens Sunday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

John who, you might ask?

McLaughlin is among the most profound avant-garde painters to work in the United States in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was World War II. He’s also Southern California’s first momentous postwar artist.

In paint on easel-size canvases or panels, McLaughlin’s perceptual abstractions took shape in...

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