Ray Johnson c/o Caitlin Haskell, Jordan Carter

Publication date:
09 Mar 2021
Art Institute of Chicago
376 pages: 305 x 229mm
700 color illus.
Sales territories:

A New York Times best art book of 2021

"[A] gold mine of a book... [f]unny, biting, morbid, it's a page-turner for sure." --Holland Cotter's "Best Art Books of 2021," The New York Times 

Ray Johnson (1927–1995) was a renowned maker of meticulous collages whose works influenced movements including Pop Art, Fluxus, and Conceptual Art. Emerging from the interdisciplinary community of artists and poets at Black Mountain College, Johnson was extraordinarily adept at using social interaction as an artistic endeavor and founded a mail art network known as the New York Correspondence School.
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 700 illustrations, many of them never before published, and twenty-one short essays by various contributors that allow readers to dip into and out of the book in a nonlinear manner.

Caitlin Haskell is Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of International Modern Art, and Jordan Carter is associate curator of modern and contemporary art, both at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Institute of Chicago
(November 26, 2021–March 21, 2022)