Ray Johnson c/o

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Edited by Caitlin Haskell; With contributions by Jordan Carter, Colby Chamberlain, Jennifer R. Cohen, Johanna Gosse, Caitlin Haskell, Miriam Kienle, Brian T. Leahy, Ellen Levy, Solveig Nelson, Thea Liberty Nichols, and Michael von Uchtrup

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An engaging and scholarly introduction to the wide-ranging work of a pioneering 20th-century artist

Ray Johnson (1927–1995) was a celebrated maker of small-scale collages whose works influenced movements including Pop Art, Fluxus, and Conceptual Art. Trained at Black Mountain College, Johnson subsequently settled in New York and founded a mail art network known as the New York Correspondence School; he was extraordinarily adept at using social interaction as an artistic endeavor.
Drawing on the vast collection of Johnson’s work at the Art Institute of Chicago, this volume gives new shape to our understanding of his artistic practice and features hundreds of pieces that include artist’s books, collages, drawings, mail art, and performance documentation. In keeping with Johnson’s democratic, rhizomatic, and antihierarchical ethos, this indispensable resource on the artist’s oeuvre contains 21 short essays by various contributors that allow readers to dip into and out of the book in a nonlinear manner of their own choosing.

Caitlin Haskell is Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of International Modern Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Art Institute of Chicago
(January 23–May 16, 2021)
ISBN: 9780300254334
Publication Date: February 16, 2021
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Art Institute of Chicago
304 pages, 9 x 12
700 color illus.

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