Becoming John McLean: 1939-2019

22 May - 22 June 2020

PIFO Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition Becoming John McLean during GWBJ 2020, remarking the anniversary of the famous British artist John McLean's death. It shows the artist’s style and exploration in different stages since the 1970s, especially the mature and free form in the late period. John McLean is known as a master colorist in the art world, and he is also an artist who, after Cezanne and Matisse, deeply explores and constructs the relationship between painting and color.





In the steady structure of McLean’s paintings, particular motifs recurred: the crown, spiral, crescent and lozenge, along with triangles, curvy quadrilaterals and irregular ovals, tumbling through fields of force with infinite vitality. He was also expert at evoking the fall and shimmer of light and the play of colour, and in this pursuit layering and re-painting were vital, along with the importance of edges and surface finish (matt or gloss). But each move had to be tested and counter-tested, it had to earn its place. McLean was in pursuit of - as he put it - revelation, not accumulation; he insists on absolute order, yet also on absolute openness.


Language and music were both great pleasures to him, like his dancing forms, and both fed into his paintings. Through an ever-flowing medium, McLean manages to combine his everyday emotions, a mastery of technique and the hard-working process in a relaxed frame with a sense of love to the life. From the quietly elegiac to shouts of unrestrained joy, his works represent all perceptions of human in the world.