Larry Johnson

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Larry Johnson
Commie Pinko Guy


As part of a generation of artists that emerged in the US in the early 1980s, Johnson is the ‘artist’s artist’ par excellence, highly respected by fellow practitioners and students but little known outside of these circles.

This publication addresses this glaring bibliographic gap by offering an accessible overview of his work, through analyses of some of his main preoccupations: queer politics, the urban landscape of L.A and Hollywood mythologies.

Alongside numerous illustrations of Johnson’s artworks spanning his career from the early 1980s to the present, the book also includes images specially selected by the artist from his personal archives and other sources. Among these are photographs by Mel Roberts and from the Athletic Model Guild.

Johnson’s work bears the marks of a generation of artists sampling readymade images and texts to create seductively laconic pictures. Yet the colourful sheen of his photo-based works is also a foil for sexual, political and semantic tensions.

The artist’s pictures are encryptions of a Hollywood demi-monde, referring to the cultures from which his work emerges – queer, political, filmic and theoretical.

This rich visual selection provides a unique perspective on Johnson’s personal connections to queer history, the city of Los Angeles – where he has lived all his life – and to American politics.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Larry Johnson: On Location at Raven Row, London, 11 June – 9 August.

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Larry Johnson - Commie Pinko Guy
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Kunst aus Los Angeles der 60er bis 90er Jahre

Exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with show held at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany, December 2, 2006 – February 18, 2007.

Features:Allen Ruppersberg, Bas Jan Ader, Bruce Nauman, Chris Burden, Christopher Williams, Douglas Huebler, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Larry Johnson, Maria Nordman, Michael Asher, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon, Stephen Prina, William Leavitt…

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Kunst aus Los Angeles der 60er bis 90er Jahre
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