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Ray Johnson, 1927-1995, was an artist of great originality and influence whose collages and ideas prefigured several art developments. After attending Black Mountain College, Johnson moved to New York City in 1948 and joined company with, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol among others. Acknowledged as a seminal figure of Pop Art, Johnson is also considered "the founding father of Mail Art". His "Nothings"- informal performance art pieces begun in the 1960's - were in the spirit of Fluxus events and Happenings. The work of the reclusive Johnson, who has been called "New York's most famous unknown artist", was ahead of its time in its conceptual approach and challenge to the commercial and critical establishment. With his suicide in 1995, considered by many to be his final "performance", the extent of his work and its real conceptual contribution can now be seen and appreciated by a new audience.
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Wexner Art Center, Columbus Ohio organized a major retrospective and catalogue of Johnson's work in 1999.
An award winning 2002 documentary, "How to Draw a Bunny", by John Walter and Andrew Moore and co-produced by John Malkovitch's Mr. Mudd Productions, provides a special look into the life and work of this unique and important artist who helped form the leading edge from pre-Pop to Postmodern art and a confluence of cultural currents in the latter half of 20th century.
Ray Johnson: En Rapport, Nov. 2, 2006 - Jan. 6, 2007
Ray Johnson: How to Draw a Bunny, Sept. 26 - Oct. 26, 2002