Clay Johnson was born in Durham, North Carolina, where he studied art and art history at Duke University, receiving a B.A. degree in 1985. He then worked for several years as assistant to the painter Robert Natkin in Connecticut and New York City. He began showing paintings from his first series of mature work in 1998, and has since exhibited in galleries across the United States and in Europe. His work is represented in collections around the world.

Clay began work on his Strata Series shortly after relocating to Wyoming, and, while non-objective in nature, the paintings convey a sense of the wide open landscape of the American west.

The Atomic Series continues his exploration of formal concerns—light, color, texture—while introducing a more narrative element inspired by the interactions of subatomic particles.

Clay currently lives and works in Laramie, Wyoming

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