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Untitled (Self-Portrait)

© Anderson Johnson Estate. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

Untitled (Self-Portrait)

Artist: Anderson Johnson (Born in Newport News, Virginia, 1915 – 1998)
Culture: American
Date: c. 1984–1991
Medium: Paint on corrugated cardboard
Image/sheet (irregular): 20 1/4 x 17 7/8 inches (51.4 x 45.4 cm)
Height of sheet including hanging ribbon: 23 5/8 inches (60 cm)
Frame: 35 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 1 inches (90.2 x 69.9 x 2.5 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of A. Everette James, Jr., M.D. and Nancy J. Farmer
Label Text:Anderson Johnson was a preacher, blues guitar player, and self-taught visionary artist. At the age of eight, Johnson reported that two angels came to him in a vision, and from that day forward, he became a self-appointed preacher. Later, Johnson would travel across the U.S., preaching and playing his steel guitar.

In 1984, Johnson returned to his hometown of Newport News, Virginia, and began converting his late mother’s home into what he called Faith Mission, a mix between painting installation and place of worship. Johnson constructed worship areas in the space, complete with pulpit, pews, and a stage on which to perform music with his guitar, piano, and drum kit. In addition, he created hundreds of paintings that covered the walls and hung from the ceiling. These works, which included portraits of congregation members and messengers from God that Johnson said guided him, were painted directly on the walls or on found materials, such as corrugated cardboard, which Johnson used for this self-portrait.

Provenance: Provenance: Purchased by donor directly from the artist c. 1991; gift 2012 to Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. .
Object number: 2012.2.1