John McLaughlin aimed to remove his presence from his work in order to heighten the viewing experience, stating: “My purpose is to achieve the totally abstract. I want to communicate only to the extent that the painting will serve to induce or intensify the viewer’s natural desire for contemplation without the benefit of a guiding principle.” #14 presents two large rectangles of similar proportion, one black and one robin’s egg blue, separated vertically by a thin white strip. The effect of these colors tempers what might otherwise be a jarring juxtaposition of fields, creating a contemplative composition for the viewer.
John McLaughlin (b. 1898, Sharon, Massachusetts; d. 1976, Dana Point, California)
Oil on canvas
48 x 60 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Partial and promised gift from the collection of Laura-Lee and Robert Woods