Seward Johnson, the founder of "Grounds for Sculpture"

Seward Johnson, the grandson of Robert Wood Johnson (co-founder of Johnson and Johnson) and a cousin of actor Michael Douglas was born in New Jersey in 1930. He grew up with five siblings and went to serve four years in the navy during the Korean War. His earlier work focused on painting, after which he turned to sculpture in 1968. Having no formal training beyond a series of classes in Cambridge, MA, his first cast work of sculpture won the Award in Steel Art competition which included 7,000 entries.
Auto portrait 

Seward Johnson's works are exhibited internationally and are included in private collections, museums, and public art collections.
There are three distinct series of his works:" Celebrating the Familiar man", "Icons Revisited" and "Beyond the Frame" series, that over 30 works based on Impressionist and Post- Impressionist masterworks.
In 1974, Johnson founded the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture- an educational, non-profit art casting and fabrication facility. Right next to the Atelier Institute there is one of the best sculpture parks in the world, also founded by Stewart Johnson.
  You can read more about the park "Grounds for Sculpture" in one of my posts.
"Double Check"

In 1982 sculpture created “Double Check,” a life-sized bronze of a businessman, sitting on a metal bench in Liberty Park and making final preparations before heading into a nearby office building. Liberty Park and the statue were heavily damaged when New York City was terrorized on Sept. 11, 2001. In the days following the 9/11 attacks, Johnson’s sculpture became a memorial as first responders and passersby decorated it with flowers, flowers, notes and candles.

 Before 9/11, the sculpture was simply part of the downtown landscape. Afterward, it became an icon. Seward Johnson, sculptor and the owner of the sculpture, has called his sculpture an iconic "stand-in" for those who didn't make it.

Edouard Manet "Le Dejeuner Sur L’herbe"

Henri Matisse "Dance"
J. Seward Johnson Jr. s recent work focuses on recreating well-known nineteenth-century paintings that allow the viewer to step inside and experience the two-dimensional work in three-dimensional reality. “I want my work to disappear into the landscape and then take a viewer by surprise. After he gets over the shock of being fooled, it becomes an emotional discovery. Then he owns the sculpture. People often revisit their favorites. They become like friends." said Seward Johnson.

Claude Monet "La Terrasse A Sainte-Adresse"
Seward Johnson's 'Were You Invited?' is inspired by French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir’s nineteenth-century masterpiece, 'The Luncheon of the Boating Party'. Sculptor renamed the painting Were You Invited? and recreated it in 3D. The viewers can actually step into the scene and mingle with the diners.
In addition to the members of the Impressionist’s boating party are four figures seated around another table at the far end of the tableau. Joined in convivial conversation are realistic representations of sculptor Johnson himself with artists Bill Barrett, Red Grooms, and Andrzej Pitynski
Pierre Auguste Renoir "The Luncheon of the Boating Party"
  Steward Johnson is 83 now but he remains active in the art community. He also publishes a science magazine, works as president of an oceanographic research institution in Florida, and is the founder of an off-Broadway theater "The Joyce and Seward Johnson Theater"   in New York. On May 4, 2014, Grounds For Sculpture opened the largest and most significant exhibition in its history—a presentation of work by its founder, Seward Johnson. The exhibit will feature more than 287 works, including 91 painted trays. Seward Johnson: The Retrospective will be on view through September 21, 2014.

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