Sue Johnson (b. San Francisco, CA) lives and works in Richmond, VA. She earned a M.F.A. from Columbia University in Painting and a B.F.A. in Painting from Syracuse University, and studied studio art in London, England and Florence, Italy with Syracuse University. Her creative work, situated as it is at the intersection of art, science and popular culture, and focusing on such topics as the early modern museum, the picturing of nature and women, and investigating the domestic universe and consumer culture, defies easy categorization. Revisionist in method, her immersive installations, painting, drawings, prints, artist books and other artworks create plausible fictions that run both parallel and counter to canonical histories. Often invited by museums to develop research-based exhibition projects, Johnson has collaborated with the Pitt-Rivers Museum, The Rosenbach Museum and Library, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, and the American Philosophical Society Museum.
Johnson's work has been the subject of over forty one-person exhibitions at venues that include the Tweed Museum of Art (Duluth, MN), Jan Cicero Gallery (Chicago, IL), Eleanor D. Wilson Museum of Hollins University (Roanoke, VA), Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Brooklyn, NY), Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford, England), Midwest Museum of American Art (Elkhart, IN), Swarthmore College(Swarthmore, PA), Anderson Gallery/VCU (Richmond, VA), The Rosenbach Museum and Library (Philadelphia, PA), Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum (Salisbury, England), Walton Art Center (Fayetteville, AR), University of Memphis (Memphis, TN), and University of Richmond Museums (Richmond, VA). Grants include awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts-Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and four Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. Selected residency fellowships include the Arts/Industry Program, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Mac Dowell Colony, Millay Colony, Art Omi International Artist Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, City of Salzburg/Salzburg Kunstlerhaus Residency Fellowship, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, Jentel Foundation, CAMAC/Centre D'Art Marnay Art Centre, American Philosophical Society/Andre Michaux Library Research Fellowship, and American Antiquarian Society research fellowship. Johnson served as Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies in Oxford, England in 2010-11, and has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2011 and 2015.
Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brooklyn Rail,The New Art Examiner, Partisan Review, and Art Papers. Her work is in numerous public collections including MOMA/Franklin Furnace Archive, Muscarelle Museum of Art,Yale University Libraries, U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Smithsonian American Art Museum Libraries, Prudential Life Insurance Co., Bristol-Myers/Squibb, Tweed Museum of Art, Maier Museum of Art, Bucknell University, Francis J. Greenburger Foundation, among many others.
Johnson lectures widely on her work, and has held teaching positions at Parsons School of Design, Marymount Manhattan College, Herron School of Art/Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, and currently is Professor of Art in the Department of Art & Art History at St. Mary's College of Maryland and was appointed as the Steven Muller Distinguished Professor of the Arts endowed chair (rotating, 2003-07).