(b Detroit, Oct 16, 1927; d Sag Harbor, NY, Jan 13, 1995).
American painter, draughtsman, and performance artist. He studied with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, NC, from 1945 to 1948, where he met John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Richard Lippold. His collages, paintings, drawings, and performances have been associated with geometric abstraction, Pop art, Neo-Dada, and conceptual art, although they do not fit neatly into any existing categories. Relationship, correspondence, interaction, metaphor, and flux are all themes of Johnson’s work, which reflects an often witty and satirical, but essentially poetic, perception. Delicate collages such as Anna May Wong (1971; New York, Whitney) incorporate found objects, altered photographs, textured surfaces, drawing, painting, words and syllables, printed text, and other materials. Similar combinations of text and image were used in his book, The Paper Snake (New York, 1965). Operating from 1968 as the New York Correspondence School and from 1975 as Buddha University, he circulated collages and other materials using the US postal system, establishing ...
Reference Entry. 336 words.
Subjects: Painting ; Performance Art and Dance ; Art of the United States ; 20th-Century Art
Full text: subscription required