Correspondents of Ray Johnson
Champaign, Illinois 61820
To complement the exhibition Return to Sender, the Gelvin Noel Gallery will showcase works from the museum’s permanent collection by artists who corresponded with the collagist and mail artist Ray Johnson. In 1962 Johnson founded the New York Correspondence School (NYCS), an international network of visual artists, writers, and celebrities who exchanged mail art and engaged in mail art events. Although he declared the NYCS’s “death” by 1973, Johnson continued to be quite prolific with his “add to and return” correspondence under different group names, such as the Buddha University and the Marcel Duchamp Fan Club. This exhibition will highlight Pop artists such as Robert Indiana, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, William Wiley, and Karl Wirsum, whose work Johnson’s aesthetic shared similarities.