John McLaughlin (1898–1976) was born in Sharon, Massachusetts. His exposure to Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston had a profound impact on his artistic development. Inspired by the concept of the “marvelous void” from 14th- and 15th-century Japan, McLaughlin painted spare, minimalist canvases that encourage the viewer to contemplate them in a meditative, direct engagement with the work of art. In addition to Japanese art and Eastern philosophy, much of which he learned during his travels in Asia, McLaughlin was influenced by Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, both of whom employed primary colors and grid-like patterns. McLaughlin was a core member of Southern California’s Abstract Classicists, or hard-edge painters.