Which Of These Ryan McLaughlin Paintings Knocked an Art Critic’s Socks Off?


This week, Jerry Saltz named among his picks for the fall an upcoming solo show at the Laurel Gitlen gallery by the Berlin-based (but American) painter Ryan McLaughlin. His recommendation came with a caveat:

I saw his work in London a couple of years back, and thought it was all okay—and then one of his quirky realistic still-lifes hit me with a bang. Based on that one painting, we could be in for a new treat.

Cryptic, no? Instantly, I found myself wondering why Saltz didn’t name which picture caught his eye, and so naturally I Googled, to try to find out which one it is. It turn out there’s a fair bit of his work online, and I got obsessed, and in anticipation of the upcoming show present it to you. there’s something quirky, yes, about these hazy arrangements of objects. But also something I really like about their hazy edgings, and pairing of say, toasted bread with flowers.

But I still don’t know which one might have launched Saltz’s rocket ship. Maybe you’ll be better at guessing than I was. Could it be this one?

Eel Playing Poker

Or Jogging Croissantier?

Or RC Collage?

Maybe it’s Summer.

Or this whale picture, whose title is elusive.

Or this wave with a hoop attached? (Title also unclear.)

Untitled (Bad News) could be a candidate.

There are several paintings called Trief Collage, like this one.

Or this one.

And this one.

Or this last Trief Collage.

But then McLaughlin shakes everything up with a Toast Collage.

My vote is for this one, called Team Clock: Baltimore Black Sox. See if you can spot the sox.