Well known for his involvement in the mail art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Johnson created the "New York Correspondance School" artist club in 1962 and distributed his postcards, letters, and collages through the mail until his death. by circumventing conventional commercial methods of making and displaying art, johnson established a deep interaction or "correspondence" with his audience. In these five collages, he used an array of eclectic materials—newspaper clippings, magazine articles, photographs, even fragments of older works—to demonstrate the infinite number of "correspondences" that may exist between a set of seemingly unrelated items. Richard Pousette-Dart Masher exemplifies how diverse fragments can come together to represent a particular person and illustrate Johnson's affinity with other artists and his respect for them.
Gallery label from Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, April 22, 2009–January 4, 2010.