Mitchell Johnson (painter)

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Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson
Born1964 (1964)
EducationParsons School of Design
Known forPainting

Mitchell Johnson is a contemporary painter known for a very particular and subtle use of color.[according to whom?] Born in 1964, in Rock Hill, South Carolina,and raised in New York and Virginia, he currently paints in Menlo Park, California as well as in Truro, Massachusetts; Buonconvento, Italy; Meyreuil, France and Bornholm, Denmark.[citation needed] Johnson earned his M.F.A. at Parsons School of Design in 1990,[1] where he studied with Larry Rivers, Paul Resika, Leland Bell, Robert De Niro, Sr., Wolf Kahn, Jane Freilicher, Nell Blaine and John Heliker—many former students of Hans Hofmann. The Smithsonian Archives of American Art have two interviews with Johnson, the first from 2008 with Paul Karlstrom, the second from 2009 with Peter Selz.[citation needed] Selz describes Johnson as an artist who paints "realist paintings that are basically abstract paintings and abstract paintings that are figurative". Johnson has a very large following on instagram and his paintings appear regularly in the New York Times print Magazine.[citation needed]


Johnson studied drawing and painting in high school at Staten Island Academy and at Randolph-Macon College, where he studied with Ray Berry and earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science with minors in math and fine art.[citation needed] He studied painting and drawing with Jo Weiss, Lee Newman, Jack Boul, and David Holt at the Washington Studio School, Washington, D.C., from 1987 to 1988, and attended graduate school in fine arts at Parsons School of Design, New York City.[2]

During graduate school, Johnson supported himself doing odd jobs for various New York artists, most notably Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, Sandy Skoglund, sculptor Abram Schlemowitz and Frank Stella's assistant, Earl Childress. In the fall of 1990, while waiting to hear if he would be able to join LeWitt's Wall Drawing Team, Johnson was offered a studio assistant job with Sam Francis and this is what landed him in Palo Alto. He has since divided his time between California and Europe.[citation needed]

In 2007 he was an artist-in-residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, Connecticut. Johnson is a 2015 Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome and the subject of a short documentary film, The Artist of Silicon Valley, by Meg Smaker. His paintings can be found in over 700 private collections and the permanent collections of 28 museums.[citation needed] The most recent museum acquisitions were the Museo Morandi in Bologna, Galleria D'Arte Moderna in Rome and the Tucson Museum of Art.[citation needed] Johnson's paintings have appeared regularly in the New York Times Magazine since 2012.[citation needed] His work has been the subject of solo-exhibitions in Milan, New York, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Helena, Oakland, Portland, and Scottsdale. Johnson's paintings have also appeared in many feature films and television shows including The Holiday (2006), It's Complicated (2009), The Lodger (2009), Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), and The Mindy Project.[citation needed]


Jennifer Samet, John Goodrich


  1. ^ Pasquali, Marilena (2007). Mitchell Johnson Doppio Binario (Hardcover) (in English and Italian). Musei Senesi. ISBN 978-0-9754021-6-0.
  2. ^

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