R.I.P Jill Johnston

Jill Johnston 1JOHNSTON-obit-popup May 17, 1929 – September 18, 2010
(author and critic)
NYtimes obit

Ms. Johnston started out as a dance critic, but in the pages of The Voice, which hired her in 1959, she embraced the avant-garde as a whole, including happenings and multimedia events.

Ms. Johnston continued to write on the arts but took a strong political line with a marked psychoanalytic slant evident in “Jasper Johns: Privileged Information” (1996), which explored the artist’s works as a series of evasions and subterfuges rooted in conflict about his homosexuality, and in the two volumes of her memoirs: “Mother Bound” (1983) and “Paper Daughter” (1985), both of them subtitled “Autobiography in Search of a Father.” (NYtimes obit)

[Paper Daughter] is a joy To be sane about insanity is the neatest trick in anybody’s book, and Jill Johnston’s has it.
Peter Schjeldahl

Thespian lemonist, dance cricket, and irrepressible funster…(Vancouver Observer Obit)

Feisty, irreverent, difficult, incomprehensible, surreal, as one critic put it, she was “part Gertrude Stein, part E. E. Cummings, with a dash of Jack Kerouac thrown for good measure.”

Book on Jasper Johns.1JilljasperPg-JJ-10

Magill Book Reviews for EBSCO Publishing
In her book on Jasper Johns, Jill Johnston combines a superb background in art history with a penetrating understanding of the artists psychology. As Dr. Samuel Johnson said, the biographers first obligation is to the truth. Of course, the biographer must be tactful and subtle qualities that Johnston exhibits on every page of her fine book.
Carl Rollyson

Jill and Dick Cavett 1JillandCavet

Throughout her childhood she believed that her parents had divorced, but in 1950, when The New York Times ran a short obituary about her father, an English bell maker named Cyril F. Johnston, she learned the truth.

Her mother informed her that she and Johnston had never married. A lifelong fascination with this absent figure, whose company, Gillett & Johnston, supplied bells and carillons to churches and cathedrals all over the world, motivated her to write “England’s Child: The Carillon and the Casting of Big Bells” (2008), a biography of her father and a history of bell making.

Jill Johnston (wiki)

Johnston’s most recent writing March 2010

Jill Johnston (Huffpost)

Jill Johnston On Palin: Little More Than A Smokescreen

Jill Johnston on “Life” Jan 1, 1971

Columnist Jill Johnston who recently announced her lesbianism in dance column of THE VILLAGE VOICE.