John Dwyer McLaughlin (May 21, 1898 â March 22, 1976) was an American abstract painter. Based primarily in California, he was a pioneer in minimalism and hard-edge painting. Considered one of the most significant Californian postwar artists, McLaughlin painted a focused body of geometric works that are completely devoid of any connection to everyday experience and objects, inspired by the Japanese notion of the void. He aimed to create paintings devoid of any object hood including but not limited to a gestures, representations and figuration. This led him to the rectangle. Leveraging a technique of layering rectangular bars on adjacent planes, McLaughlin creates works that provoke introspection and, consequently, a greater understanding of one's relationship to nature.