Lester Johnson

Lester Johnson
(1919-2010)

 

Education

Minneapolis School of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
St. Paul Art School, St. Paul, Minnesota
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS:
1939 Alfred Pillsbury Scholarship.
1940-’41 The President’s Scholarship, Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1941 St. Paul Gallery Scholarship.
1942 First Prize, Midwestern Artists Competition.
1961 Longview Fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1973 Guggenheim Fellowship.
1978 Brandeis University, Creative Arts Award for Painting.
1987 Elected Associate, National Academy of Design.
2003 American Academy of Arts and Letters, Jimmy Ernst Award.
2004 Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1951 Artists Gallery, New York.
1954 Korman Gallery, New York.
Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1955 Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
1956 Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1957 Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1958 Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1959 Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
City Gallery, New York.
1960 Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
HCE Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1961 Minneapolis Art Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
Ohio State University Gallery, Columbus, Ohio.
1962 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
BC Holland Gallery, New York.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio.
Ohio State University Museum, Columbus, Ohio.
HCE Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1963 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
1964 The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
1965 Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, Michigan.
Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, Connecticut.
Anderson-Mayer Gallery, Paris, France.
1966 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
1967 The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, Michigan.
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
Temple Shalom, New York.
1968 Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
CCAC Gallery, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California.
1969 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
BC Holland Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.
1971 The Human Situation: Street Scenes 1969-71, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
Merridin Gallery, London, England.
1972 Alpha Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
Tirca Karlis Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
1973 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
Gallery Moos, Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.
Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Santa Barbara, California.
Smith Andersen Gallery, San Francisco, California.
1974 William Cooper Proctor Art Center, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, New York.
Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
Galerie Smith-Anderson, Palo Alto, California.
Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, Michigan.
1975 Early Works, Livingston-Learmonth Gallery, New York.
Martha Jackson Gallery, New Uork.
Jorgensen Gallery, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.
1976 Alpha Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
1977 The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
The City, Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York.
Hurlbutt Gallery, Greenwich Library, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Gallery Moos Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1978 Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, Michigan.
Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1979 Gimpel Fils, London, England.
Foster Gallery, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
1980 Street Scenes, Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York.
Swain School of Art, New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Gimpel-Hanover & Andre Emmerich Galerien, Zurich, Switzerland.
1981 Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, Michigan.
University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, Virginia.
1982 Alpha Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York.
Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
1983 The Early Paintings 1957-67, Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
The PaperWork Gallery, Larchmont, New York.
Chicago International Art Fair (Donald Morris Gallery), Chicago, Illinois.
1984 Munson Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.
1985 David Barnett Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit, Michigan.
1986 Gallery Moos Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Munson Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
1987 The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA.
Works on Paper 1960-87, Jack Schainman Gallery, Washington, DC.
Gallery Moos Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Gallery Moos Ltd., New York.
1988 Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.
Munson Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
35 Years of Prints, Cone Editions, New York.
Goldman-Kraft Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.
Recent Works, Walter Moos Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
1989 Retrospective, David Barnett Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1990 Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York.
Paris-New York, Kent Fine Arts, Kent, Connecticut.
1991 A Print Retrospective 1960-1990, Erector Square Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
Donald Morris Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
1992 Margaret Lipworth Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida.
Eva Cohon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.
1993 Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, California.
1994 Edward Thorp Gallery, New York.
David Barnett Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1995 Margaret Lipworth Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida.
1996 Norwalk Community Technical College, Norwalk, Connecticut.
UFO Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Denise Cade Gallery in association with Joseph Rickards Fine Art, New York.
Peter Findlay Gallery, New York.
1998 Peter Findlay Gallery, New York.
France & America, Denise Cade & with Joseph Rickards Fine Art, New York.
An Overview of the Graphic Work, Joseph Rickards Fine Art, New York.
1999 David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
2000 Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
2001 Lester Johnson Figurative Expressionism: Paintings 1963-2000, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Provincetown Watercolors from the 1950s, Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
2002 Peter Findlay Gallery, New York.
Lillian Heidenberg Gallery, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
2003 Early and Late Works, David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
2004 Lester Johnson: Four Decades of Painting, James Goodman Gallery, New York.
2005 People Passing By: Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Lester Johnson, William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut at Storrs, Connecticut (retrospective).
2006 Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Lester Johnson 1955-2005, David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
Beach Series, East Hampton, David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
2007 Lester Johnson Figurative Oil Paintings from the 1960s, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
2009 Lester Johnson: 1950s Works on Paper, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
2010 Lester Johnson: The ‘60s, David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
2011 Lester Johnson Memorial Exhibition, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts

Selected Group Exhibitions

1949 Annual Watercolor Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1951 Annual Watercolor Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1955 813 Broadway Gallery, New York.
1956 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Artists of the New York School: Second Generation, The Jewish Museum, New York.
1957 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Stable Gallery, New York.
American Painting 1945-1957, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1958 Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Critics Choice, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland.
1959 100 Works on Paper, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts.
Ellison Gallery, Fort Worth, Texas.
Art U.S.A., Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York.
Painting Annual, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Salzburg Festival, Germany.
Nebraska Art Association, Lincoln, Nebraska.
1960 Figure in Contemporary Painting, American Federation of Arts, New York.
Future Classics, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts.
Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
Critics Choice, City and Town School, New York.
Graphics 1960, American Federation of Arts, New York.
Pursuit and Measurement of Excellence, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Nebraska Annual, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
1961 The Emerging Figure, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas.
Carnegie International, The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Recent Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1962 Recent Paintings U.S.A.: The Figure, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Recent Trends in Painting, USA, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
1963 L’Avant-Garde, Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Eleven Americans, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
Ohio State University Museum, Columbus, Ohio.
Selections from the Fort Worth Collections, Fort Worth Art Center, Fort Worth, Texas.
1964 Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Contemporary American Drawings, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Carnegie International, The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Figuration into Abstraction, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium.
Portraits from the American Art World, New School Art Center, The New School for Social Research, New York.
The American Conscience, New School Art Center, The New School for Social Research, New York.
Old Hundred, Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
1965 American Federation of Arts, New York.
Figuration, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
1966 Zabriskie Gallery, New York.
Thirteenth Annual, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Contemporary Urban Visions, New School Art Center, The New School for Social Research, New York.
New Figuration, Harpur College, Binghamton, New York.
A Point of View, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan.
1967 1967 Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
The 1960s, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Carnegie International, The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Fourteenth Annual, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Homage to Morandi, The School of Visual Arts, New York.
Junior Council Purchase Show, Fort Worth Art Center, Fort Worth, Texas.
A Christmas Show, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York.
1968 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Social Comment in American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
American Paintings on the Market Today, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Figure: A New Vein 1963-1968, Center of Visual Arts Institute Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Buffalo Art Festival, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
Six Painters from the Martha Jackson Gallery, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
Figuration, The New School for Social Research, New York.
Ravina Festival, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
Akron Art Center, Akron, Ohio.
Timeless Paintings from the U.S.A., Paul Facchetti Gallery, Paris, France.
The Poetry of Vision, ROSC, Dublin, Ireland.
Paintings for Your Collection, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.
Project Outreach, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Detroit, Michigan.
1969 The New Vein: The Human Figure 1963-68, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Fondation Marguerite et Aime Maeght L’Art Vivant aux etats Unis, St. Paul-de-Vence, France.
Il Bienal Internacional del Deporte en las Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain.
Dealers’ Choice, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Paintings Courtesy of Martha Jackson, John Bolles Gallery, San Francisco, California.
1970 The Thomas Edward Benesch Memorial Exhibition of his Collection, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland.
Carnegie International, The Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
L’Art Vivant aux Etats Unis, Fondation Marguerite et Aime Maeght, St. Paul-de-Vence, France.
Regards Privileges 1951-70, Galerie Paul Facchetti, Paris, France.
Artists of Suffolk County – Part III Figurative Tradition, Heckscher Museum, Huntington, New York.
Works on Paper, Virginia Museum, Richmond, Virginia.
1971 18th Annual Exhibition: From Madison Avenue to the Sohos, Jewish Community Center, Bayone, New Jersey.
Homage to Tanager, Roko Gallery, New York.
Martha Jackson Gallery Collection, Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, Japan.
Painting and Sculpture Invitational Show, New England Art, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina.
1972 70th American Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Ten Independents – An Artist Initiated Exhibition, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Seventeenth National Print Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York.
Cross-Section New York 1972, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York.
Martha Jackson Collection, Rockland Community College, Suffern, New York.
Contemporary Painting, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
118 Artists, Landmark Gallery, New York.
Immagine per la Citta, Palazzo dell’Academia, Palazzo Reale, Genoa, Italy.
1973 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
L’Estampes Contemporaine, La Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France.
Voices of Alarm, Lerner-Heller Gallery, New York.
Drawings U.S.A. ’73, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Private Collection of Martha Jackson, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
1974 Nineteenth National Print Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York.
1975 Subject Matter, Landmark Gallery, New York.
1976 Painting and Sculpture Today, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.
Visions: The Paintings and Sculptures of Distinguished Alumni, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
1977 Tenth Street Days: The Co-ops of the 50s, Pleiadea Art Gallery, New York.
Manscape 77, Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Provincetown Artists, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Fall 77: Contemporary Collectors, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
1978 Connecticut Painting, Drawing and Sculpture 1978, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut.
A Benefit for the Yale School of Art: Works by Members of the Yale Faculty 1950-78, Harold Reed Gallery, New York.
Connecticut Painting, Drawing and Sculpture 1978, Cummings Art Center, Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut.
From the Imagination, Green Mountain Gallery, New York.
Connecticut Painting, Drawing and Sculpture 1978, Carlson Art Gallery, University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
1979 Alumni of School of the Art Institute, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Collection: Art in American After World War II, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Art in Bloom, Washington County Museum of Art, Hagerstown, Maryland.
Masters of the Portrait, The Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1980 James Joyce in Perspective, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Portraits Real and Imagined, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.
Selected 20th Century American Self Portraits, Harold Reed Gallery, New York.
Masters of American Watercolor, The Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1981 The Sun Gallery, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
12th Annual Invitational Exhibitions of Paintings by Figurative Painters, Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
1982 Homo Sapiens, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
In Our Time, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas.
Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY, Purchase, New York.
Contemporary Masters, Hamilton College Museum, Clinton, New York.
American Figurative Expressionism 1950-1960, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, New York.
The Changing Figure 1962-1982, Landmark Gallery, New York.
Street Painters, Lever House, New York.
1983 Connecticut Painters 7+7+7, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut.
Selections from the Permanent Collection, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.
The Painterly Figure, Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York.
Contemporary Prints, Munson Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
American Realism 1930s-1980s, A Contemporary Perspective, Summit Art Center, Summit, New Jersey.
Paintings and Sculpture in the Permanent Collection, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona.
1984 Figurative Expressionism, Art Museum Association of America, San Francisco, California.
The First Eight Years, Artists’ Choice Museum, New York.
Aspects of the City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
David Haynes – Lester Johnson, Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
Twentieth Century American Drawing from the Arkansas Art Center Foundation Collection, The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas.
1985 The Artist Celebrates New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Martha Jackson Memorial Collection, Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Federal Support for the Permanent Collection, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.
Prints Ensuite, The Katonah Gallery, Katonah, New York.
Expressionism: An American Beginning, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Two Americans, Zabriskie Gallery, Paris, France.
1986 Naked/Nude Print Exhibition, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1995 The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York.
Editions 1974-1991, Pharos Gallery, New York.
Editions, Skoto Gallery, New York.
2001 Out of the Fifties – Into the Sixties: Six Figurative Expressionists, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York.
2002 Ten Realists, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York.
20th Anniversary Exhibition, Denise Cade Gallery, New York.
2003 Visions and Revisions: Art on Paper since 1960, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York.
Contemporary Art from Nashville Collections, First Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee.
2004 Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2007 Black and White and a little red… David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
Figuratively Speaking, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
2008 Summer Salon, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
Works on Paper, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
2009 Days Lumberyard Studios 1915-1972, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
2010 Have you been good? David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan.
Summer Salon, ACME Fine Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.
Days Lumberyard Studios, Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Lester Johnson. Giuliano photo.

Selected Collections

Harry N. Abrams Inc. Publishers, New York.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland.
Boca Raton Museum, Boca Raton, Florida.
The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut.
The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Chase Manhattan Bank, New York.
The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia.
Dayton Art institute, Dayton, Ohio.
The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan.
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Fort Lauderdale Museum, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York.
Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.
Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Milwaukee Union Art Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Neuberger Museum SUNY, Purchase, New York.
The New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey.
The New School for Social Research, New York.
The New York Public Library, New York.
Orton Museum, Ohio State University, Dayton, Ohio.
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona.
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska Art Galleries, Lincoln, Nebraska.
U.S. Steel Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona.
Westmoreland Museum of Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut.
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas.
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.

Biography

Lester Johnson was born in 1919 in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the youngest of seven and grandchild of Swedish Homesteaders. After studying at the Minneapolis School of Art, and the St. Paul Art School, he came, in 1947, to New York City. His first studio (and home) was next door to Wolf Kahn on 6th Street and Avenue A, followed by a loft on St. Mark’s Place which he shared with Larry Rivers. He married Josephine Valenti, an art historian, in 1949, and moved into a house on 2nd Ave and 2nd Street – which was shared, again, with Wolf Kahn. After moving uptown, he continued to work downtown, in a studio on 222 Bowery. In 1961, he briefly left the city for an artist-in-residence position at Ohio State. After returning, and while sharing a studio on 10th St. with Philip Pearlstein, he was invited by Jack Tworkov to teach at Yale. He accepted and he and his wife, with their two children, Leslie and Anthony, moved to Milford, CT, where he taught and continued to paint in a studio behind their house. Summers were spent in Springs, Long Island (where Lester and Jo bought property in 1955), throughout his time at Yale as well as after moving to Greenwich, CT. Later, he had four grandchildren: Stephanie, Julia, Nicholas, and Abby. Johnson lived briefly in Southampton where he died in 2010.

Chronology

1919 Born January 27 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1939 Alfred Pillsbury Scholarship.
1940-’41 The President’s Scholarship, Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1941 St. Paul Gallery Scholarship.
1942 First Prize, Midwestern Artists Competition.
1941-’47 Studies at the Minneapolis School of Art, St. Paul Art School, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
1947 Moves to New York, where he became one of the first downtown loft-dwellers, sharing a studio with Larry Rivers. Attended classes at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts.
1948 Views a show of Giacometti paintings at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, which influences his painterly style.
1949 Marries Josephine Valenti. Shared a studio with figurative realist Philip Pearlstein.
1950 First solo exhibition, Artists Gallery, New York.
1961 Longview Fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1961-’62 Artist-In-Residence, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
1964 Begins teaching figure drawing at Yale, where he teaches until his retirement in 1989. Summer Artist-In-Residence, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1969 Became Director of Studies for the Graduate Painting Program at Yale, an appointment that would last until 1974.
1973 Guggenheim Fellowship.
1978 Brandeis University Creative Arts Award for Painting.
1987 Elected Associate of the National Academy of Design. Brandeis University, Creative Arts Award for Painting.
2003 American Academy of Arts and Letters, Jimmy Ernst Award.
2004 Survey exhibition of his work at James Goodman Gallery, New York, Lester Johnson: Four Decades of Painting. Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Letters.
2005 Fifty year retrospective, People Passing By: Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Lester Johnson, William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut at Storrs.
2010 Dies May 30.