[rohrpost] John Held über Mailart, Postmuseum Berlin

Tilman Baumgärtel mail at tilmanbaumgaertel.net
Die Mar 30 21:36:13 CEST 2004

"Moticos to Mail Art:
Ray Johnson and the New York Correspondence School,"
to be Presented at the Museum of Communication, Berlin.

John Held, Jr., an artist from San Francisco, California, will present a
lecture, "Moticos to Mail Art: Ray Johnson and the New York Correspondence
School," on Friday, April 16, at the Museum of Communication, Berlin, at 
7:00 pm. The
lecture features the work of New York artist Ray Johnson, whose mysterious
postal exchanges lead to the formation of the worldwide Mail Art movement.

Until his death in 1995, Johnson, who was trained as an artist by Joseph
Albers at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, in the late forties, 
the artistic marketplace, concentrating instead on the development of a 
path, without the benefit of patronage, gallery affiliation or widespread
critical support. Johnson was a leader who refused to lead; a storm whose wind
blew in many directions. His mailings provoked a new art with no center, no
financial reward and little chance for widespread recognition. Art was a 
gift for
Johnson, who challenged fellow artists to emulate his own natural generosity.

Johnson's challenge to "add and send on" his mailings in the early seventies,
not only initiated The New York Correspondence School, but encouraged artists
worldwide to do likewise. His personal courage emboldened a new generation
searching for an alternative approach to art making and distribution.

Both practicing artist and scholar, John Held, Jr. has been involved in the
Mail Art network since 1976, when he first began corresponding with Ray
Johnson. He has exhibited, performed and lectured widely, authoring the 
book, "Mail
Art: An Annotated Bibliography" (London, 1991). In 2003, Held lectured at the
State Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia (Mail Art), Reed College,
Portland, Oregon (Russian Futurism), and the San Francisco Art Institute 
Periodicals). In January 2004, Held lectured at the Minnesota Center for the
Book Arts (Rubber Stamp Art). His work is included in the Archives of American
Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. He is currently preparing a
book on Mail Art, and will exhibit artist postage stamps in Minden, Germany,
following the Museum of Communication lecture.