Except for text in parentheses, all of the texts below are quoted from the web site linked to in the respective headings.
ART; Conceptual Art, in the Days Before E-Mail
RAY JOHNSON (1927-95) seemed to be into something new during the many years he was sending what is called mail art and staging his ''Nothings,'' usually a one- or two-hour display of his works on paper presented in off-beat locations that were an easy drive from his home in Locust Valley.
Black Mountain College: An Introduction
The story of Black Mountain College begins in 1933 and comprises a fascinating chapter in the history of education and the arts. Conceived by John A. Rice, a brilliant and mercurial scholar who left Rollins College in a storm of controversy, Black Mountain College was born out of a desire to create a new type of college based on John Dewey's principles of progressive education. The events that precipitated the College's founding occurred simultaneously with the rise of Adolf Hitler, the closing of the Bauhaus by the Nazis, and the beginning of the persecution of artists and intellectuals on the European continent. Some of these people found their way to Black Mountain, either as students or faculty. Meanwhile, the United States was mired in the Great Depression, and Franklin Roosevelt, committed to putting people back to work, established the Public Works Arts Project (a precursor of the WPA).
Conflictual Diversity at Play:A talk with Ina Blom
Ina Blom: In my experience there is a corporate state attitude towards the arts in Norway- not like an old-fashioned socialist state attitude, but a kind of intense worry about the proper distribution of art at all levels - a governmental worry about what new art is and what it should do. Over the last ten years, the culture department and the cultural council have been both very interested in and very concerned about the new hybrid forms of art which they interpret, rightly or wrongly, as the sign of a new type of diversity in the arts. What is clear is that this notion of diversity is the source of great ambivalence.. It seems to generate [a] lot of worry, as well as a great deal of political benevolence, on a very general level.
CORRESPONDENCE ART OF RAY JOHNSON
(Resources on Ray Johnson)
Interview with Ray Johnson
The interview took place on December 2, 1977, at the Mid-York Library System, Utica, New York, the day following Ray Johnson's performance of Barry White Ecstasy, at the Root Art Center, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, where his work was on display.
"A friend of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and other leading figures of the New York artistic scene, Mr. Johnson nonetheless avoided any chase for personal fame or fortune, according to Mr. Bourdon. He would typically hold impromptu displays on sidewalks, in railway stations, or just turn up at a collector's house with a bundle of work under his arm."
Ray Johnson: exhibition history
(Listing of exhibitions)
Ruud Janssen: THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH NORMAN SOLOMON
In the 1950's , Ray Johnson and Norman Solomon went to a lot of moviex together. They went to the Roxie, the Paramount, the Beekman, the 8th Street Playhouse and other famous theatres of that time. They probably saw "High Society"at the Loew's State Theatre on Broadway.
Samples of Work
Ray Johnson is a collagist but is best known as the progenitor of mail art with his New York Correspondence School which he started in the l950s but which bloomed in the early 1960s.
Johnson was born in Michigan and went to Black Mountain College from l946 to l949, where he studied under Josef Albers. When he left to move to New York, he met the painter/photographer Norman Solomon, with whom he started walking the streets at night, collecting bits and pieces from the streets.
The Detroit Artists Monthly Feb. 1978
On September 26, 1977, Ray Johnson was in Detroit. The following conversation with Johnson and Diane Spodarek and Randy Delbeke took place at the Detroit Artists Monthly offices. Ray Johnson, who lived in New York, is originally from Detroit. He received an Artist's Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts that year and is the founder and director of the New York Correspondence School. The following was approved by Ray Johnson.
A seminal Pop Art figure, Ray Johnson has been called the most significant "unknown artist" of the post-war period, a "collagist extraordinaire" who influenced both the Pop artists and a generation of contemporary artists besides..
Ray Johnson, “the most famous unknown; artist” in America, transmitted his extraordinary cultural commentaries in unexpected ways—both through the medium of collage and by transmission through the postal service. Founder of the New York Correspondence School, a network that brought art out of galleries and into the postal system, Johnson has been much imitated but never surpassed.
Tribute for Ray Johnson
A memorial service for Ray Johnson, an artist whose collages and mail art were exhibited in major museums around the world...
Although Johnson was never featured in any of Warhol's films, he assisted Warhol during the filming of Jill Johnston (Dancing) and also brought Warhol to Billy Name's apartment for a haircutting party which gave Warhol the idea for his Haircut films.
Billy Name: [March 12, 2004]: "... walking down the street with Ray Johnson... it becomes alive. The fire hydrants are artistically, aesthetically alive all of a sudden and part of your world and engaging with you... and all of a sudden you see the world as this wonderful, delightful, joyful, playful place and it doesn't stop. It's not like it's something you get when you're with Ray and then you go away and say 'gee I oughta see Ray again and get that feeling.' He was such a master that he incorporated your mind into his collage so that you became part of this joyful world that he lived... I have mixed feelings about his final act, the death scene... and I can only accept it as part of one of his art pieces because there's no way this guy could have been emotionally driven or socially driven to do away with himsel
Wm Wilson on the Internet
(Excellent listing of material on Ray Johnson, including material by William Wilson.)