Ray Johnson

1927 (Detroit, Mich.) – 1995 (Sag Harbor, N.Y.)

The reclusive Johnson’s exceptionally long list of friends and acquaintances is closely tied to his work’s basis in correspondence and exchange. At Black Mountain, he was taught by Albers and Motherwell, and helped Fuller erect his geodesic dome. Cage and Cunningham became New York neighbours. He ate with Arman, watched Elaine de Kooning eat a hamburger with pliers, was involved with Maciunas’s gallery, collaborated with Brecht, found sympathetic friends in in Close and Warhol, and burned his work in Twombly’s fireplace. Acquaintances included di Prima, Malina, Cornell, Lichtenstein, Paik, Spoerri and Johns. Duchamp and Ono were among his many correspondents.