Ray Johnson

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Ray Johnson (1927-1995) is an American artist who is frequently credited with starting the Mail Art movement. He began using mail as an art medium as early as 1943 and in the early 1960’s he founded the New York Correspondence School. Johnson was a painter, and he also did a lot of collage work and performance pieces that he sometimes called “Nothings”. These are considered to be what would later turn in to “Happenings”. He was known to be an enigma even to his closest friends and his mysterious death was even referred to as his last (and greatest) work of art.

Good biography of Johnson at http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/biography/

Here's some of Johnson's artwork.


Peek a book of the week. N.Y.C. : Ray Johnson (Graphic Design), [1957?] – Artist Book

**The paper snake. [New York : Something Else Press, 1965] – Artist Book PS3560.O384P3 (Art Spec. Coll.)

Dollar bill show. Chicago : Richard Feigen Gallery, 1970]

Ray Johnson, dollar bill show : Richard Feigen Gallery / photographs by Eric Pollitzer]. Chicago : The Gallery, [1970] – Exhibition Catalog

**Ray Johnson dal 5 al 29 aprile 1972 alla Galleria Schwarz, Milano. Milano : Galleria Schwarz, 1972] – Exhibition Catalog - N6537.J63 A4 1972 (Art Lib.)

**Correspondence : an exhibition of the letters of Ray Johnson : North Carolina Museum of Art, 31 October-5 December, 1976. Raleigh : North Carolina Museum of Art, 1976 – Exhibition Catalog - N6537.J63 A33 (Art Spec. Coll.)

Ray Johnson, Ray Johnson. New York : Between Books [1978]

**Works by Ray Johnson : 7 February - 8 April 1984 ; essay by David Bourdon. Roslyn Harbor, N.Y. : Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, c1984 – Exhibition Catalog - N6537.J63A4 1984 (Art Lib.)

Ray Johnson / [questions by Clive Phillpot ; answers by Ray Johnson ; photographs by Richard P. Meyer]. Roslyn, N.Y. : Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, [1988], c1987. – Artist Book

**More works by Ray Johnson, 1951-1991 : [exhibition] November 1-December 15, 1991 : Goldie Paley Gallery / guest curators, Phyllis Stigliano and Janice Parente. Philadelphia, Pa. : Goldie Paley Gallery, c1991 – Exhibition Catalog - N6537.J63 A4 1991 (Art Lib.)

[A Book about cranky ant : and other books, 1992-1993]. [Locust Valley, N.Y. : R. Johnson, 1993] – Artist Book

Sources for obtaining more information about the artist:

How to draw a bunny [videorecording] / Palm Pictures ; a film by John Walter & Andrew Moore.[United States] : Artisan, [2004], c2000. – Processing for Art. Lib

Ray Johnson, John Willenbecher. [New York, Between Books, 1977]

Jannsen, Ruud, The unfinished mail interview. 1994. http://www.iuoma.org/interview.html

In a memory of Ray Johnson / participants of the in memoriam ; a networking project by Guy Bleus, 42.292. Wellen, Belgium : The Administration Centre, 42.292, 1995. – Exhibition Catalog

Ray Johnson, a memorial exhibition : April 27-June 16, 1996. New York : Richard L. Feigen & Co., [1995] – Exibition Catalog

Face value : American portraits / Donna De Salvo ; with contributions by Maurice Berger ... [et al.]. Southampton, N.Y. : The Parrish Art Museum ; Paris : Flammarion, 1995. – Exhibition Catalog

**Ray Johnson : correspondences / exhibition organized by Donna De Salvo ; edited by Donna De Salvo and Catherine Gudis. Columbus, Ohio : Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University ; New York : Flammarion, c1999 – Exhibition Catalog - N6537.J63 A3 1999 (Art Lib.)

**Ray Johnson : how sad I am today-- / curated by Michael Morris and Sharla Shava. Vancouver : Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 1999 – Exhibition Catalog - N6537.J63 A4 1999 (Art Lib.)

The name of the game : Ray Johnson's postal performance, book edited and exhibition curated by Ina Bloom. Norway : National Museum of Contemporary Art, c2003. - Exhibition Catalog

Perneczky, Geza. Network Atlas: World and Publications by the People of the First Network. Soft Geometry, Cologne. http://www.c3.hu/~perneczky/atlas.html (updated April 2003). Vol. 1, pp. 222-223.



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