Andrew Johnson-Center for the Arts in Society - Carnegie Mellon University

Andrew Johnson

Associate Professor of Art, School of Art

Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412.268.3714


Andrew Johnson was born in Cortland, New York to a jazz guitarist, civil war historian father and science major mother who, together, won many bowling tournaments. He made his first life-size faux bronze sculpture of Baron Manfred Von Richtoven at the age of 13, miniature marzipan figurines of Fats Waller at 11 and his first film cycle on the battle of Gettysburg at 9. In pursuit of his film and painting interests, he studied at SUNY Buffalo and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his BFA. After years in Europe and Asia, he earned an MFA in Art at Carnegie Mellon while serving as an artist-in-residence at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, curating an exhibition of inmate art at the City Theater, and presenting five solo exhibits in the tri-state region.

Subsequently he attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a residency through Poznan Academy of Art in Poland. His nomadic teaching career included positions at College of the Holy Cross, University of Nebraska in Omaha, West Virginia University, a five-month studio stint in Amsterdam, and five years at University at Buffalo where, with Millie Chen and Paul Vanouse, he co-founded PED in 2001. PED is a socially engaged collective that has offered bicycle/lecture tours for international site-specific projects in Buffalo, Hamilton, Belfast, Chongqing and Rio de Janeiro. Since 2004, Johnson has been Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon School of Art, punctuated by a 2006 teaching residency at Korean National University of the Arts in Seoul.

Johnson’s exhibitions address exigencies of daily realities and undress the refined aesthetics of art. Some past exhibition topics include: the Haitian grass roots movement in Lavalas; homelessness in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood in A•Dressing Room; predatory economics in just another market mop up and StOck OptiOns; hemispheric hegemonies in Democracy on Ice; unabated sowing of land mines in Spring—-Let Them Keep Their Children Tethered; crises in the Middle East in Pressed: When Words Were Earth, Fleece, Fold, The Annunciation II: VICTEORY (sic), Pluck and in And Gazelles? And Gazelles; cultural eclipses in One Night or a Thousand Others and Cleave; the visibility and invisibility of communication in Zeitgeist and Airborne; and meditations on labor and myth in Till, Hind, and Hawker Hacker, Herald. Venues for his work have included museums, galleries, electronic arts and video festivals, public collaborations, conferences, books and journals in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.