David Bourdon

  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mailman

    I FIRST MET RAY JOHNSON when we coincidentally visited Andy Warhol at the same time, perhaps in late 1962. We sat on a sofa in Andy’s town house, politely commented on the new silk-screened canvases that he unrolled on the floor for our inspection, and stealthily eyed one another. I couldn’t help but notice that Ray had a mischievous glint in his eyes and a sly smile that would suddenly slide into a toothy and rather menacing grin. This somehow sparked my infatuation with him, which bloomed over the next several years.

    Ray’s public persona, fabricated like Andy’s with tremendous cunning, required

  • The Razed Sites of Carl Andre

    ONE OF THE MOST DRASTIC works in the Jewish Museum’s Primary Structures show last season was Carl Andre’s Lever––a single line of 139 unjoined firebricks. This brick causeway, meeting one wall perpendicularly, ran across the middle of the floor for 34 1/2 feet, stopping short of a doorway. Like most of Andre’s work, Lever was designed for a specific area. Andre deliberately chose a room with two entrances, so that from one entrance the spectator had a vista of an unbroken line of bricks, while from the other entrance he confronted its terminus. The title referred ironically to the French infinitive

  • An Interview with Ray Johnson

    Q: I seldom see any collages that are fresher and more contemporary than Schwitters’s. I think it’s impossible to say you “work in the tradition of Schwitters,” because he indicated so clearly and exploited so fully the possibilities of collage. He is a terminal artist, a dead end. What future do you see in collage?

    Johnson: Yes, I was born in Detroit in a log cabin and I attended Black Mountain Collage in North Carolina, where I once carried a log from the top of a mountain to the bottom of the mountain and then I threw it in a stream.

    Q: Rauschenberg has adroitly sidestepped the problem of