Arcadia University Art Gallery Presents The Glenside Correspondence School, Oct. 1

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 30, 2011

Arcadia University’s Art Gallery “Tables of Contents: Ray Johnson Bob Box Archive” exhibition is pleased to present The Glenside Correspondence School on Saturday, Oct. 1. The event begins at 2 p.m. and runs until 5 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

The occasion offers rare and intimate access to hundreds of objects, letters, and artworks, most of which are displayed on a variety of found tables sourced from the University.

The event takes its name fromNew York Correspondence School, a network of artists founded by Johnson in 1968 that used the postal system as a means to share their work with each other independent of the commercial gallery system. Growing exponentially into an international community which is still active, the NYCS is sometimes regarded as a paper precursor of the Internet.

The Glenside Correspondence School event is a mix of conversation and participatory activities—including rubber-stamping, collaging, hand-sanding, and the creation of silhouette portraits—all relating directly to Johnson’s techniques, as well as the public archiving process enacted by the exhibition. As part of the event, Warner will use a light box to conduct the first-ever exploration of an extensive archive of carbon paper (c. 1950 – 1990) that Johnson used to copy typed letters and drawings.

Starting at 3:30 p.m., Warner and artist and writer Howard Hussey, who between 1966 and 1972 served as studio assistant to Joseph Cornell (1903-1972),  will discuss the powerful influence of Cornell’s collages and boxes on Johnson’s practice, evidence of which is apparent in numerous objects and images in the exhibition, including five finished collages by Johnson on loan from his Estate. (Johnson knew Cornell and visited the reclusive artist at his house on Utopia Parkway in Queens, New York.)