Raymond Edward Johnson (1927–1995), known primarily as a collagist and correspondence artist, was a seminal figure in the history of Neo-Dada and early Pop art. Once called “New York’s most famous unknown artist", Johnson also staged and participated in early performance art events associated with the Fluxus movement and was the founder of a far-ranging mail art network – the New York Correspondence School - which picked up momentum in the 1960s and is still active today. He lived in New York City from 1949 to 1968, when he moved to a small town in Long island and remained there until his suicide.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 16, 1927, Ray Johnson grew up in a working class neighborhood and attended an occupational high school where he was enrolled in the advertising art program. He took weekly classes at the Detroit Art Institute and spent a summer drawing at Ox-Bow School in Saugatuck, Michigan, affiliated with the Art Institute of Chicago.
Johnson left Detroit after high school in the summer of 1945 to attend the radically progressive Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he stayed for the next three years (spending the spring 1946 semester at the Art Students