Ray Johnson

Ray Johnson was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1927. In 1945, he left Detroit to attend the radically progressive Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He moved to New York City in 1949 and became a part of the American Abstract Artists group. By 1953, he left the group and began collaging fragments from popular culture, calling them “moticos”. He quickly became part of the Pop generation and found occasional work as a graphic designer. In 1958, he began “the New York Correspondence School,” in which he would send mail to recipients directing them to “please send to” another recipient. He has shown at the Willard Gallery in New York, the Feigen Gallery in Chicago and New York, Angela Flowers in London, and Arturo Schwarz in Milan. In 1970, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York had an exhibit for Johnson’s “New York Correspondence School”. He passed away in 1995.


Courtesy of the collection of William S. Wilson and The Estate of Ray Johnson at Richard L. Feigen & Co.

Ray Johnson is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Bryan Leitgeb

Shirley Temple II (1967)
Untitled (1964)
Untitled (1991)
Untitled (Moticos with Fantastic Jewelry) (1954-60)
Mailed Gift to Bill Wilson (1960)
Untitled (1960's)
Untitled (1961-63)
James Dean (Lucky Strike) (1957)
Untitled (1962)
Untitled (1950s)
Mailed Gift TO Bill Wilson (1958)