MAIL ART

Dates: 1960-Present

Origin: United States

Key Artists: On Kawara, Ray Johnson

Term applied to art sent through the post rather than displayed or sold through conventional commercial channels, encompassing a variety of media including postcards, books, images made on photocopying machines or with rubber stamps, postage stamps designed by artists, concrete poetry and other art forms generally considered marginal. Although Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters and the Italian Futurists have been cited as its precursors, as a definable international movement it can be traced to practices introduced in the early 1960s by artists associated with Fluxus, Nouveau Réalisme and the Gutai group and most specifically to the work of Ray Johnson. From the mid-1950s Johnson posted poetic mimeographed letters to a select list of people from the art world and figures from popular culture, which by 1962 he had developed into a network that became known as the New York Correspondence School of Art.

Held jr, John. “Correspondence art.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T019621&gt;

Ray Johnson

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