Lot Details

This stunning example of Ray Johnson’s correspondence art was sent to Marcia Tucker in 1971. With an intimate note written on the verso, the front of this handmade postcard presents a quiet and idyllic harbor scene completed in delicate watercolors and ink.

Ray Johnson (1927-1995) is known for his work as a Neo-Dada artist, primarily creating collage and correspondence art, though he also worked with Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art throughout his career. Johnson’s earliest works of sublime geometric abstractions, highlight his connection to Josef Albers and the Black Mountain College. His work became more focused when he started creating “moticos”; small, irregularly shaped collages which integrated remnants of pop culture from advertisements and celebrity magazines. Johnson’s collages were often superimposed on other artist’s work, layering meaning and creating coded exchanges. In the late 1950s Johnson began mailing his pieces with specific instructions to the recipients, and by the early 1960s this endeavor became known as the New York School of Correspondence. The last years of Johnson’s life were spent in isolation, as he increasingly substituted his correspondence art for personal interactions. Johnson died in Sag Harbor, NY in 1995 and in 1999 the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited a retrospective of his work.

Select Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
Guggenheim (New York, NY)

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  • The Estate of Marcia Tucker; Private Collection, NY
  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 3.5 x 5.5 in. (8.89 x 13.97 cm.)
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