“…Johnson’s mail art can’t be bought or sold…” Utter nonsense. ‘The first principle of Ray’s art is that anything isolated is beautiful, albeit opaque,’ wrote Wilson in his introduction to Johnson’s 1965 book, The Paper Snake. Mail art is huge among calligraphers. In modelling the techniques of Johnson’s associative and collaborative methods, shot through with Wilson’s astute, probing writing, the handsomely bound volume furnishes an understanding of the deep artistic rapport that the pair sustained over more than 40 years of friendship. Part of his suicide explanation in his manifesto, he mailed out before his walk into the ocean, was his exasperation of not be “famous” enough and deserving more attention and accolades. Johnson began sending aestheticized mail to his friends as a teenager in the 1940s, a practice he continued to develop while studying at Black… In the 1950s and ’60s, Ray Johnson … A worldwide community of artists receive these letters for inspiration, discussion, friendship and connectivity. What Ray Johnson Can Teach Us about a Good Postal Service ‘ Frog Pond Splash ’, published 20 November by Siglio Press, presents four decades of the artist’s mail-art exchanges with poet William S. … It was a marbelous time to share our art with others. The 2019 winners are shown on this website: https://www.calligraphersguild.org/envwinners2019.html. Your book is still one of my favourite resources by the way. Lois from Ontario, Canada. Ray Johnson disappeared near Sag Harbor just over twenty years ago. I think Victor Hugo might have been one of the first mail art senders, in the 19th century. Best known today for his vertiginous collage works made from film magazines and newspapers, as well as his innovative system of mail art – a network of artistic and epistolary exchange he dubbed the ‘New York Correspondence School’ – Johnson illuminated relations between the verbal, visual and processual. And this week, Brooklyn-based artist Christina Massey, in an effort to try to offset threats of cuts to the post office, has issued a call to action on Instagram. Courtesy: The Ray Johnson Estate. Mail Art’s second international exhibition covered by Design Week UK …and by the BBC …and by the graphicart-news blog. One such collage by Johnson – a 1992–93 silhouette of Lou Reed superimposed with a frog – appears across an excerpt from A Book about a Book about Death (2009), which Wilson wrote in response to Johnson’s ‘A Book about Death’: a collection of 13 printed collages, made between 1963 and 1965, and mailed to friends as separate pages. But if we refer to the artist by the art, he’s still among us. “Mail Art has no history, only a present”. Ray wanted and yearned for financial rewards as most artists do to continue. Known primarily as a collagist and correspondence artist, he was a seminal figure in the history of Neo-Dada and early Pop art and was described as "New York's most famous unknown artist". If Johnson’s creative bravura was defined by his willingness to cede meaning, significance and magic to the fragment and all its potential for becoming whole, his best interlocutor and biographer, the writer and poet William S. Wilson, is distinguished by his remarkable ability to keep apace. Envelope-sized works seem to be the standard. In this new context, Wilson’s essay functions as metacommentary on Johnson’s work. Main image: Ray Johnson, Untitled (Dorothea Lamourstuvwxyz) (detail), 1980-81-82-93, published in Frog Pond Splash. We each did a figure on 4 small canvas boards, and the gallery reshuffled them to make the collaborations. One thing I’ve noticed during this pandemic is that I’m sending, as well as receiving, much more mail art! I n New York in the early 1960s, the pop artist Ray Johnson pioneered mail art, posting drawings and notes to friends, which he invited them to augment. Both my husband (ramcell) and I (franckeart) were part of this mail art generation in the late 70s throught 1990s. Best to you during these interesting times! If Johnson’s creative bravura was defined by his willingness to cede meaning, significance and magic to the fragment and all its potential for becoming whole, his best interlocutor and biographer, the writer and poet William S. Wilson, is distinguished by his remarkable ability to keep apace. The 2020 contest has been postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic. The earliest known “Please Send To” mailing is postmarked on June 9, 1958. Ray Johnson began sending his mail art to circumvent the insular gatekeeping of the New York gallery scene. Glad I now know what a “vernissage” is, after I Googled it. Dubbed the “New York Correspondence School,” Johnson included instructions to “please add to the artwork” and return it, or send it along to someone else.Read More Participants choose stamps to match the theme, and the results are amazing.. 1958-1994.. [Ray Johnson; Online Archive of California. ;] -- This collection includes 10 letters and 26 pieces of mail art (decorated letters, postcards) from Ray Johnson. Proceeds from each listing contribute to the production of The Painter’s Keys. This workshop will be a live virtual event. You get what you give? Group of 4 paper items, including a postcard with a photograph of City Hall, Montreal, a handwritten note by Johnson in ink, a hand-written addressed envelope by Johnson in crayon and a blank strip of card stock with string attached, 1959. Johnson’s mode of sustained correspondence and the strength of the relationships it fostered is yet another kind of ethics, one that, as Zuba writes in the book’s afterward, ‘permits urgent immediacies and suspends determination’. These words, written by Ray Johnson, initiator of the international mail art movement, provide a key to one of the most complex and idiosyncratic art projects of the 20th Century. That makes it exceptionally relevant today,” wrote artist and gallerist Jason Pickleman. Collages By Ray Johnson with texts by William S. Wilson, Siglio Press, 2020.Courtesy: The Ray Johnson Estate and Jorge and Sylvie Helft Collection. Thank you, He lives in Philadelphia. Ray Johnson mail art, ca. Johnson Archive’ Richard L. Feigen & Company . All that is required is a legible address hand lettered of course. By the time I’d returned to New York, a logroll of portraits, booklets, photocopied zines, postcards and a persistent instruction to send them all back with my additions, sat patiently, secured with a rubber band by the mail carrier, at my doorstep. I am a landscape painter exposing the mystery in an ordinary day. https://www.calligraphersguild.org/envwinners2019.html, https://www.vitaartcenter.com/exquisite-corpse, part two; modulating / intervening the social space – e m m a'⠀s ⠀ s t u d i o, https://gwenfox.com/retreat/powerful-design-sensual-edges-put-together-with-exciting-color/. A writing experiment called The Adventures of Loren Ipsum from my novel Three Ugly Islands. Gallery reshuffled them to make the collaborations work have been one of my resources. Calligraphers out there Johnson fan, especially in this sad era of “ everything-online ”:! Sont abonnés am excited artist and become part of this mail art s! 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