Ben McLaughlin: The Night Sky


Ben McLaughlin’s second solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery consists of approximately 60 paintings ranging in size from 2 x 1 inches to 5 x 7 feet. The title of the exhibition, “The Night Sky,” comes from an old science book that fascinated the artist as a child. In this body of work, McLaughlin explores the peculiar states of mind conjured in the dark of night.


McLaughlin’s nocturnal images are voyeuristic views of intimate moments. Painted in a style that evokes a bygone era, their ambiguous scenarios in half-light and muted tones summon fleeting memories and existential musings.


This is the world of the insomniac – silent and isolated. Where time slows to a standstill and you’re alone with your thoughts. McLaughlin’s images of second-rate motel rooms with their neatly-made beds suggest an addictive nomadism, a life spent in nebulous drift between here and there. Cropped glimpses of anonymous women in various stages of undress punctuate these nocturnal imaginings with longing and the desire for the distraction of sex, but in no way ease the relentless loneliness. These paintings keep us transfixed in anticipation, watching and waiting for something to happen, even if it’s only for day to break.


Ben McLaughlin was born in London in 1969. He received a BA from London’s Central St. Martin’s School of Art and an MA in printmaking from Camberwell College of Art, London. “The Paintings of Ben McLaughlin,” a recent monograph published by Merrell with an essay by James Hamilton, will be available for purchase.

Installation Views