“Untitled,” 1951. Oil on Masonite. John McLaughlin (1898-1976) was an American abstract painter. Based primarily in California, he was a pioneer in minimalist and hard-edge painting. work is characterized by a simplicity expressed as precise geometric forms, usually rectangles. His experiences in Asia were very important in developing his style. . Essentially color serves him as a means of defining and regulating a form's relative importance in the composition.