Inside the Outsider: Leroy Johnson

Leroy Johnson has lived on the edges of the art world for all his 80+ years.


About Leroy Johnson

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.

(from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage