Born in Liverpool in 1939, the abstract painter John McLean grew up in eastern Scotland. His paintings typically feature broadly brushed shapes and rich colours. He wrote, 'My works have no hidden meanings. To understand, all you have to do is look. Everything works in relation to everything else in the painting...'. McLean was mainly a sel-taught painter.
His first solo show was in 1975 at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh. Since then, he has had over 40 solo shows from Canada to China, and participated in the important 1980 group show The New Generation, a Curator's Choicej at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York. McLean has numerous works in public collections including The Tate, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida and Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, USA.