1. This letter from Johnson to Lustig from around 1947 [above]…was no ordinary letter from Johnson. Letters he wrote to his parents used the same meticulous pencil handwriting, but in this letter to Lustig, Johnson includes the first sentence “Reptiles on the path in the snow.” This statement provides an idea for the multi-colored lines printed on the paper that Johnson wrote between…The reader is left to imagine the reptiles that made these paths, the ways they moved, and to reconcile an unlikely occurrence due to their cold-blooded nature…

    Lustig, Albers, and Johnson were all great synthesizers whose commitment to their art and the fostering perception in others helped “close the gap between art and society” and today each of their contributions to Art are indeed held in high esteem.”

    Ray Johnson Designs may be over, but you can still enjoy insights into Ray Johnson’s design work in this article by Julie J. Thomson: "The Art of Graphic Design: Lustig, Albers, Johnson and the 1945 Summer Session," Journal of Black Mountain College Studies 6 (Summer 2014).

     
  2. A particularly curvaceous snake cut-out by Ray Johnson.

     
  3. The website for the show Art=Text=Art at the UB Anderson Gallery In Buffalo, NY is now live: click here to explore essays, images, and more, including Sarah JM Kolberg and Cat Dawson on Ray Johnson, as well as an interactive look at Johnson’s BOO[K].

    The show is open now and runs until January 11.

     
  4. A small cut-out version of Ray Johnson’s silhouette of Paloma Picasso.

     
  5. "I am fine as all get out."

    A template for letters by Ray Johnson.

     
  6. A Joseph Beuys bunnyhead by Ray Johnson, 1987.

     
  7. ANT by Ray Johnson, 1987.

     
  8. RAY JOHNSON: NOTHING VS. NOTHING AT THE NY ART BOOK FAIR

    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

    PRINTED MATTER’S NY ART BOOK FAIR AT MOMA PS1

    12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in The Classroom. Free and open to the public.

    Ray Johnson: Nothing vs. Nothing with Mark Bloch and Elizabeth Zuba

    Multi-media artist Mark Bloch and writer/editor Elizabeth Zuba bring together their distinct visual and literary perspectives to explore Ray Johnson’s innovative interpretations of “the book” and its relationship to his concept-practice of Nothing.  Mail-, Pop-, Conceptual-artist Ray Johnson began making small, dense artists books in the 1950s; over the next 40 years the books went through a dimensional transformation that transcended the limits of space-time into simultaneously ephemeral and eternal ouroboroi of endless pages of return. “This third paragraph (…) has been cut out because it did not have the element of surprise like seeing the moon in the sky.” (Ray Johnson, 1967) Presented by Siglio in conjunction with the publication of Not Nothing: Selected Writings by Ray Johnson, 1954-1994.

     
  9. Seize the last chance to see the exhibition “Ray Johnson Designs”

    and join us to celebrate Siglio’s newest publication

    NOT NOTHING: SELECTED WRITINGS

    BY RAY JOHNSON, 1954-1994

    Edited by Elizabeth Zuba with an essay by Kevin Killian

    at the

    MUSEUM of MODERN ART LIBRARY

    Wednesday, September 24, 6 – 8 p.m.

    Cullman Education and Research Building, 4 West 54th Street, 6th floor.

    RSVP: library(at)moma.org

    PDF invite

     
  10. A collage by Ray Johnson to Pablo Picasso, 1991.

     
  11. A geometric collage by Ray Johnson, 1984-85.

     
  12. A collage by Ray Johnson featuring what looks like a sculptural piece by Walter de Maria and addressed to another “Walter,” 1991.

     
  13. All ears.

     
  14. Pickle the French bulldog visited some Ray Johnsons at Rachel Uffner Gallery this summer.

    picklebeholding:

    The Crystal Palace at Rachel Uffner Gallery.
    June 26 - August 16, 2014

     
  15. Ray…was encouraging artists all over the world to make and trade mail as an art activity…Some of these letters were finished statements or handmade objects; others were exquisite corpses conducted by mail, objects that traveled and accumulated the mojo of human touch and attention as they were ever modified. 

    Ray’s handmade work…had a purposive childishness, but also a readily appreciable design rigor—a controlled looseness, beautiful color, shape and textural sense, a mastery of a private hieroglyphics of bunnies and goo-goo eyes.

    He was a major alchemist, employing the power of the small, personal gesture.”

    "Please Forward Contents" by Gary Panter at The Paris Review