Martin Johnson

 

Born in New Jersey in 1951, Martin Johnson moved with his family to Richmond, Virginia at age five. He earned a degree in Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1974 and an Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1977. Upon graduating from UNC, Johnson moved to New York City where he was granted one of the first studios at PS1, the landmark institute of contemporary art that is now a permanent exhibition site for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Early in his career, Johnson received critical attention from curator Marcia Tucker, gallery owner Phyllis Kind, and American art historian and critic Donald Kuspit. Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago and New York represented Johnson from 1979 to 1987, a period when a number of private collectors began to embrace and support his work, including contemporary collectors Donald and Mera Rubell and Herbert and Dorothy Vogel.

As part of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel’s 50x50, a generous gift of 2,500 contemporary artworks to museums and art institutions across the nation, thirty-six museums acquired Johnson's work. Most notably, Johnson's work may be found in the permanent collections of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Martin Johnson is showcased in the film, Herb and Dorothy 50X50, which premiered at the Whitney Museum March 2013.  

 

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2014         FORinstance:  The Art of Martin Johnson, Taubman Museum, Roanoke, Virginia

2011         Martin Johnson: FORward, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Richmond, VIrginia

 

1994         Forty-Four Four by Fours, Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia

 

1993         Site installation, Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach, Virginia

                  Faces For(bodypolitic), Glass Gallery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

 

1992         HESHEUNISALLFORONE (44 4x4’s 30 PART), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

 

1990         Glimpsastone, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, Virginia

 

1988         Site installation, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

                 Enigmatic Constructions – (Retro) Active Art Work(s), Portsmouth Museums,  

                 Portsmouth, Virginia                 

 

1987        One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

1985        One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

1984        One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

1983        One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

1981        One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

    

1981         Site installation, Florence Wilcox Gallery, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

1980         One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

1979          One-Artist Exhibition, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois

 

1978        Site installation, Appalachian Center for Contemporary Art, Charleston, West Virginia

 

                       

Selected Group Exhibitions

2011          Textural Structures: Selected Works from the South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota (Catalogue)

2010          An Economy of Means:  The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan
                 
                  Living For Art: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey

1995          New Works Fellowships: Northern Telecom, Arlington Museum of Art,
Arlington, Texas; Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee;
                   Nexus 
Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia (Catalogue)

 

1994          New Works Fellowships: Northern Telecom, City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh, North Carolina (Catalogue)

 

1990          Un/Common Ground: Virginia Artists 1990, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia (Catalogue)

     
     The Portrait in America
, The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia

 

1989          Sculpture Now: 10 Virginians, Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, Danville, Virginia

 

1988          Household Media, Virginia Beach Arts Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia

                  
                   Site installation.  Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor, 
Staten Island, New York

     
      From the Collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel
, Arnot Art Museum, 
Elmira, New York

     
      Artists Sketchbooks
, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-
Salem, North Carolina

 

1987          Four Sharp Artists, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

                   
                   Animals, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, Virginia

 

1986          Drawings from the Collection of Herb and Dorothy Vogel, University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery, Little Rock; Sarah Moody Gallery
                   of Art, 
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, State University, University Park (Catalogue)

 

1985          Insider/ Outsider, Virginia Beach Arts Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia

                   
                   Erotic Art, S.P.L.A.T. Alternative Art Gallery, Norfolk, Virginia           

                  
                   Martin Johnson: Installation, Old Dominion University Gallery, Norfolk,
Virginia

 

1984          Visiting Artists 1977–1984, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Catalogue)

                  
                   Dozen/ Half Dozen
. Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York

                  
                   Michele Feder-Nadoff, Martin Johnson, Ireen Kubota
, Phyllis Kind Gallery, 
Chicago, Illinois

 

1983          Dialect = Dialectic II, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York

1983          P.S.1, Queens, New York

                       

1982          P.S. . .P.S. 1, 1708 East Main Gallery, Richmond, Virginia (Catalogue) 
                  
                   New New York
. University Fine Arts Galleries, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida; Coral Gables Museum, Coral Gables, Florida;
                   Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona (Catalogue)                                                                       
                   
                   Twentieth Anniversary of the Vogel Collection
, Brainerd Art Gallery, State University at Potsdam, Potsdam, New York; University of
                   Northern Iowa Gallery, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Catalogue)

 

1981           Ikon/ Logos: Word as Image, The Alternative Museum, New York (Catalogue)

      
      Former North Carolina Artists
, Charlotte and Philip Hanes Gallery, Wake
Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

1980           P.S.1, Queens, New York

 

1979-80     Painters from New York Galleries, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
                    Blacksburg, Virginia; Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia

 

1979           Annual Drawing Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

                   
                   The Intimate Gesture
, Visual Arts Gallery, School of the Visual Arts, New 
York, New York

                   One Hundred Artists Show, Ten Windows on Eighth Avenue, New York

                        

1977           The Magnetic Image: Invitational Video Showing, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia

 

1976           Exhibition 280, Huntington Galleries, Huntington, West Virginia 

 

 

Selected Bibliography

Boyd, Julia W.  “Martin Johnson.” Un/Common Ground: Virginia Artists 1990

Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1990, 52-61.

Barnet, Vivian. Introduction to Drawings From the Collection of Dorothy and Herb

Vogel. Little Rock: University of Arkansas Gallery, 1986, 62.

Browing, Robert. Ikon/ Logos: The Word as Image. New York: The Alternative

Museum, 1981, 43.

Kass, Ray. “Martin Johnson’s ‘ForInstance’.” Folk Art Messenger, Vol. 22, no.3

(Spring/ Summer 2011): 23-25.

Kuspit, Donald. “Martin Johnson’s Manic American Dream.” New Work Fellowships:

Northern Telecom. Raleigh: The City Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1994, 1-10.

________. “Martin Johnson.”  Art Forum, Vol. 23, no. 9 (May 1985): 108

________. “Reviews of Exhibitions/ Martin Johnson at Phyllis Kind.” Art in America,

Vol. 71, no. 8 (September 1983): 117.

McGreevy, Linda.  “Art: Insider/ Outsider.”  Port Folio, Vol. 3, no. 2 (May 14 – 20,

1985): 35

Robinson, John.  “Reviews/ Group Shows at Phyllis Kind.” Arts, Vol. 59, no. 1

(September 1984): 33.

Schwartzman, Alan.  “Martin Johnson.” Arts, Vol. 54, no. 5 (January 1980): 6.

Ward, Alex.  “Recycled Space for Artists.”  National Endowment for the Arts, The

Cultural Post, issue 24 (August 1979): 1-3.

 

Grants and Awards

1993       Northern Telecom Fellowship, City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh,

   North Carolina

1975        MFA Fellowship, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

 

 

Public Collections

Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland

Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio

The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama

Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina

Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia

Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine

Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri

Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota
Taubman Museum, Roanoke, Virginia

The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, Wyoming

University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Montana

 

Private Collections

Richard Brown Baker, New York, New York

Charles Beneson, Connecticut

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Bergman, Chicago, Illinois

William Copley, New York, New York

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Goldberg, New York, New York

Mr. and Mrs. Alan Koppel, Chicago, New York

Prudential Insurance Company, New York

Bill and Pam Royall, Richmond, Virginia

Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation

Martin Sklar, New York
Markel Corporation

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Speyer, New York, New York

Herb and Dorothy Vogel