Malvin Gray Johnson: Symbolic Abstractionist During the Harlem Renaissance

2 Posted by - April 11, 2023 - BLACK ART, LATEST POSTS

Malvin Gray Johnson only lived for 38 years, but during that time, he ranked high among the most influential African-American men in Black Arts. His work is considered the among the most significant commentaries on the African-American scene. It was also labeled as Symbolic Abstractionist, being he was one of the first African-American artists to paint in the Cubist style. Johnson’s work captured the mystical pathos and the sardonic humor in the moods of African-Americans.

Born in 1896, Johnson was a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. He grew up in poverty, similar to most young African-Americans during that era. He later moved to New York where he studied at the New York Academy of Design. Along with many other artists, he worked on the Federal Arts Project during the


Johnson had a great interest of the technicality behind painting. He focused on obtaining the right lighting, composition, and above all, the form of the object portrayed in his compositions. Johnson had his work shown in several of the Harmon Exhibits in 1929 and the early thirties. Johnson’s painting, “Swing low sweet chariot,” was awarded the exhibition prize in 1929 for best picture in the second Harmon group show. His work was also hung in the Salon of America in 1932.

During the last months of his life, he went to Brightwood, Virginia, the place of his last and finest watercolors and paintings. Johnson died in New York in 1934.



  • gamefly free trial May 2, 2019 - 3:10 am

    If some one wants expert view regarding blogging and site-building then i propose him/her to pay
    a visit this blog, Keep up the fastidious job.

  • gamefly May 4, 2019 - 8:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on gamefly. Regards

  • minecraft for free May 6, 2019 - 3:32 pm

    Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your site in internet explorer, might check
    this? IE nonetheless is the market leader and a big component to people will leave out your great writing
    because of this problem.

  • g May 13, 2019 - 12:34 pm

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my
    end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  • free minecraft download May 15, 2019 - 6:41 pm

    Thank you for some other informative blog. The place else
    may just I get that type of information written in such a perfect means?
    I have a undertaking that I’m simply now working on,
    and I have been at the look out for such information.

  • Izola Mceniry June 18, 2019 - 2:32 am

    Wow! How did you comoe up with atht coolpost?