George Johanson

George Johanson (1928-2022) was born Seattle.  He moved to Portland to attend the Pacific Northwest College of Art (then the Museum Art School) where he was a student of William Givler, Jack McLarty and Louis Bunce, who urged Johanson to move to New York. There he studied printmaking with Karl Shrag and knew Willem De Kooning, Hans Hoffmann, Jackson Pollock and other noted Abstract Expressionists.  A conscientious objector, Johanson served in the Peace Corps in Mexico where he met his future wife, Phyllis Burnham. Upon his return to Portland, he began teaching printmaking and painting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.  A sabbatical trip to London in the late sixties brought him in contact with artist David Hockney, who had an important influence on his printmaking.  Johanson retired from teaching in 1980.  Johanson has created paintings, prints, ceramic tiles, drawings and sculpture that have found their way into the permanent collections of The Seattle Art Museum, The Portland Art Museum, The Smithsonian, The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and numerous public and private collections.  PCC Rock Creek has a number of works by this artist.   A retrospective of Johanson’s work was held at the Hallie Ford Museum in 2007, and at Augen Gallery in 2018 on the occasion of the artist’s 90th birthday and publication of his autobiography “My Life as George Johanson.” In the preface to this book he writes, “I paint therefore I am.”