Paintings in acrylic, gouaches, watercolours
b. in Edinburgh 1896/1897 - d. in Johannesburg 1973
John McLaren abt. 1935
Born in Edinburgh in 1896 or 1897, John McLaren grew up in Scotland; he came to South Africa as a young man and travelled to Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. By 1926, he was living in Bremersdorp/Manzini, Swaziland.
John McLaren served as Officer in the Rhodesian forces, he was an official War Artist during WW2; three of his works are illustrated in colour in "War History of Southern Rhodesia 1939-1945", Vol. 1 (J.F. MacDonald).
After WW2 he lived in Johannesburg for a time, then moved to Cape Town, living at Beach Road in Three Anchor Bay.
Please click on image to see 3 cards from 1961/2!
After his retirement, he moved back to Johannesburg in 1969, staying in Kero Court, Pietersen Street.
John McLaren painted all his life for pleasure, he was also a talented musician and art photographer. By profession, he seems to have been a bookkeeper. He had no family in South Africa.
Most of his works that remained after his death were sold by the executor in 1973, for the benefit of The Star's "Seaside Fund". The balance was sold in abt. 1976 on behalf of a charity at the Hyde Park Shopping Centre, Johannesburg/Sandton, together with his studio equipment, at virtual give-away prices!
Selected Solo Shows
1970 - Gallery 101, Hollard Street, Johannesburg (15th August, 1970) (sold out)
1972 - Gallery 101, Hollard Street, Johannesburg (20th July, 1972)
Cover of 1972 invitation card to the Gallery 101 exhibition by John McLaren (click on image for details)
1973 - SA Association of Arts, Pretoria (19th March, 1973) - invitation card + exhibition catalogue
Please click on image for better view!
Selected group shows
Gallery 101, Rand Central, Johannesburg - “The Nude in 101” - 7th December, 1970
Gallery 101, Rand Central, Johannesburg - “Winter Art Exhibition 1971” organised by “Group 51” - June 1971
(Cat. 72 “A winter scene – Lowveld” – watercolour R75 + cat. 73 “Still Life with Loquat” – Polymer R100)
Gallery 101, Hyde Park, Johannesburg - Group Show: Gallery 101's contribution to the Johannesburg Art Gallery Festival (works not shown Joubert Park) - December, 1971
Gallery 101, Hollard Street, Johannesburg - Watercolours by SA artists - January/February, 1972
Klerksdorp Art Society, Randles Hall, Municipality of Klerksdorp, Klerksdorp ("South African Painters & Sculptors") (13th March, 1972) (opened by Gabriel Bayman)
Lidchi Gallery, Cape Town ("Transvaal Artists") - December, 1972
Group exhibition of paintings arranged by Gallery 101 at the Carlton Centre Johannesburg (Foyer to the Three Ships) in collaboration with the SAAA (Southern Transvaal) - January/February, 1973
Herbert Evans Gallery, Johannesburg -“Winter Art Exhibition 1973” organised by “Group 51” - 28th August - 7th September, 1973
(Included in catalogue on p. 18 - short CV only, no works listed)
Gallery 101, Rand Central, Johannesburg - “Winter Art Exhibition 1975” organised by “Group 51” - 22nd July, 1975
(Included in catalogue on p. 19 - short CV and one work listed: cat. 50 “Untitled” – gouache R250)
Selected early and later works
"Trees in Landscape", 1942 - acrylic - signed: McLaren April '42
"Paw Paw and Lemons", 1942 - acrylic - signed: McLaren 6/13/42
"Woman in a fauteuil reading", undated - acrylic - signed: J McLaren
"Sea Point Bay" undated - acryl - signed: J. McLaren
"In the docks Cape Town", 1954 - signed: J McLaren May '54
"In the Alfred Basin Cape Town docks", 1954 - signed: J McLaren IX.LIV (9/54)
"Luggers, Hastings" - signed: J McLaren
"Mediterranean Enchantment" - signed: "John McLaren"
"Boats" - signed: J McLaren
"A street in the Lowveld" - mixed media - signed: J McLaren
Other Selected works
"Cattle Sheds - Barberton - Tvl" - watercolour 26x36 cm - dated July 1927 - signed: J. McLaren
"Farmhouse", June 1934 - pastel 25x35 cm - dated June 1934 - signed: J McLaren
John McLAREN "Fishing boats, Pas de Calais" - gouache - ill. in Arts Calendar March 1973 - SA Association of Arts, Pretoria, p.5
A young visitor with John McLAREN painting at Madame Haenggi Gallery, Johannesburg, 1975
Composite of 6 works by John McLaren, ea. 25x27 cm, from the private collection of J.H.
"War History of Southern Rhodesia 1939-1945" Vol 1 (JF MacDonald), Bulawayo 1947, ill. facing pp. 114, 271, 480
ARTLOOK 47, Johannesburg - October, 1970 - Gallery 101 listing of leading contemporary South African artists, p.30
"Art & Artists of South Africa" (Esmé Berman) (Balkema, 1983) (listed on p. 523 under "Professional exhibitors") - ISBN 0 86961 144 5
Selected Press reviews
Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg ("Art Shows") - 10th August, 1970
Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg - 10th December, 1971
Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg - 14th February, 1972
North West Record, Klerksdorp - 10th March, 1972
The Star, Johannesburg - 30th March, 1972
The Star, Johannesburg - 21st July, 1972
Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg - 28th July, 1972
Cape Argus, Cape Town - (Transvaal on view in the City) - 3rd December, 1972, p. 15
Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg - 25th January, 1973
"Arts Calendar" published by the SA Association of Arts, Pretoria - March, 1973
RDM or The Star, Johannesburg - March, 1973 - comment
Works sold on auction
John McLAREN - "Siesta" - oil - 75x57 cm
auctioned by Westgate Walding Auctioneers, Johannesburg - 4th March, 2009 - Lot 224
John McLAREN - "Hastings Harbour with Net Houses", dated 14 2 69 - gouache - 54x69 cm - offered by BidorBuy ID 92189179 as "Mediterranean Village"
John McLAREN - "Slipway Cape Town docks" - gouache - 50x62 cm - offered by BidorBuy ID 92189069
No other auctions of works by John McLaren are recorded at this stage!
If you have any further information, data or images on John McLaren, please contact us on this link!
We thank the following for missing information supplied:
SA National Gallery, Cape Town - archives
Updated 28th October, 2015
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