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

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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.