28 February – 10 May 2009
Raven Row’s inaugural exhibition is the first large UK show of the collages and mailings of New York artist Ray Johnson (1927–1995). Johnson used radical means to construct and distribute images, inadvertently inventing the ‘mail art movement’. He made art out of social life – both real and imagined – gathering celebrities, the art world, and friends into his work. His influence on twentieth century art far exceeds the recognition he receives.
‘Ray Johnson. Please Add to & Return’ is significant in representing Johnson’s mailings, objects he regarded as gifts and thus contrary to the market, equally with the collage works he made for gallery exhibition in the sixties and seventies. Also included are the collages he subjected to a seemingly endless process of reworking and overlaying, which were found signed with multiple dates and neatly arranged in his house at the time of his death.
Wednesday to Sunday