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Return to Sender: Ray Johnson, Robert Warner, and the New York Correspondence School

Event Type
Krannert Art Museum
KAM Gelvin Noel Gallery and Annex
Jan 4, 2014   All Day
Originating Calendar
Krannert Art Museum Calendar

In the mid-1950s, the New York-based artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995) initiated a new form of artistic practice called "mail art," in which participants received a letter or object in the mail, added to or subtracted from that item, and forwarded it onward to another participant in the mail art network. Through this process, Johnson established a network of artists called the New York Correspondence School (NYCS).

Robert Warner, one of the participants in this network, engages the legacy of this school both by sending mail art and creating art installations out of 13 boxes of ephemera that Johnson gave him in 1988 -- known as BOB BOXES. For this exhibition, Warner reinstalls the boxes, this time emphasizing Box 13, which contains ephemera from a mail art event Johnson organized in Illinois in 1974.

The exhibition also includes 25 collages that Johnson made for gallery exhibitions.  These exquisitely constructed collages were build out of dense layers of NYCS artwork and made to portray prominent artists, curators and critics of the New York art world.

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