Leroy Johnson

2014 Pew Fellow

1/8: Leroy Johnson, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/8: Leroy Johnson, 60th Street. Photo courtesy of the artist.
3/8: Leroy Johnson, The Block. Photo courtesy of the artist.
4/8: Leroy Johnson, Out of the Frying Pan. Courtesy of the artist.
5/8: Leroy Johnson, Fried Chicken. Photo courtesy of the artist.
6/8: Leroy Johnson, West Side Series. Photo courtesy of the artist.
7/8: Leroy Johnson, Vacant. Photo courtesy of the artist.
8/8: Leroy Johnson, Man with Hat. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“My work is generally more about compulsion than ambition.”

Leroy Johnson (b. 1937) is a mixed-media artist whose work takes the form of painting, collage, and assemblage sculpture. A native of Philadelphia, his work is poetic and reflective of his many experiences in the inner city. “I am impressed with ‘make-shift’ structures and structures shaped by necessity,” Johnson says. “The inner-city landscape I depict is both map and metaphor for the actual landscape and the contents of the collective unconsciousness.” His work captures the city in a way that is immediate, intuitive, and filled with experiential understanding, translating the weight of the urban environment into painting and sculpture. Johnson has exhibited widely, with past solo shows at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Tirza Yalon Kolton Ceramic Gallery (Tel Aviv), Gloucester County College (Sewell, NJ), and the Camden County Historical Society. He has received grants from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Independence Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.


Questions of Practice

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Jenn McCreary read selections from “Haunted Forest,” a passage from her recent book & now my feet are maps.

Grants & Grantees

Yvonne Bobrowicz is a fiber artist and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Amada Cruz on how her Hispanic heritage informs her approach to audience engagement in bilingual communities.

Grants & Grantees

Megawords (run by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski, both Pew Fellows) is self-described as “an experimental media project” that takes the form of a biannual photography magazine, as well as related installation projects and public events.

A program of Philadelphia University, The Design Center presents exhibitions, tours, programs, college courses, and special events that demonstrate how design shapes everyday life.

Marginal Utility’s Five Acts: Chronicles of Dissent was featured on Artforum’s website.

The Barnes Foundation presents a preview lecture with Theresa Dolan, professor of art history at Temple University.

In conjunction with the ongoing reFORM project, Temple Contemporary hosts a discussion with Feather Houstoun, member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Roddy Bogawa’s work is known for its investigation of history and culture via lyrical lo-fi means and innovative narrative structures.

Grants & Grantees

This groundbreaking exhibition presented the early artwork of the late Pati Hill, an American writer who pioneered the use of the photocopier as an artistic tool in the 1970s.

Choreographer Amanda Miller collaborated with Cheam Shapiro in Takhmao, Cambodia to research the intersection of classical Cambodian dance with her western classical ballet training.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Philip M. Katz, Ph.D., is the director of projects at the Council of Independent Colleges. Previously, he was assistant director for research at the American Alliance of Museums.