Lester Johnson

Known as a second-generation abstract expressionist, Lester Johnson (1919 – 2010)  studied at the Minneapolis School of Art and the St. Paul Art School. There he was introduced to Hans Hofmann’s teaching approach, particularly the “push and pull” effects of form and color.

What are we to make of the vacuous stares of these beautiful people dressed in their highly fashionable attire? The seeming spontaneity of the brushwork technique contrasts meaningfully with the soulful eyes of the characters in these scenes. None of them look at one another, each looking above at street signs and dreams which hover in the shadows of skyscrapers..

Capturing the essence of an original is the mark of a fine print. These prints are almost like unique watercolor sketches, owing to the fine quality of their printmaking.

He associated with Larry Rivers, Philip Pearlstein and Jack Tworkov. His work is held in the collections of many important museums including:

Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.

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