Richard Johnson Photographic Artist and Architectural Photographer


(b. 1957, Hackensack, New Jersey) Richard is a Photographic Artist with a disciplined approach to image making since 1991 as one of Canada’s preeminent Architectural Photographers. Aided by the rigor of working for many years with a large format 4x5 view camera and sheet film, Richard has adopted a classic visual style influenced by mid-century masters Bernd and Hilla Becher. Prior to this, Richard worked for 15 years as an Interior Designer for several of Canada’s leading Design firms. His formal training was at Algonquin College for Interior Design and Carleton University for Engineering.   


Ice Huts

As with its distant cousins the native Teepee and the Igloo, the Ice Fishing Hut has its own essential purpose. It must be weather resistant and transportable, giving basic shelter and access to the ground beneath it. For this ongoing project (2007 - -) Richard is traveling across Canada comparing the similarities, and differences, of Ice Fishing architecture between provinces. These provisional shelters offer a colourful glimpse into the Canadian culture of Ice Fishing. Sheet metal, faux wood paneling, tarpaulins, peak roofs, modified camping trailers all fulfill the requirements for shelter. The Ice Huts project consists of more than 1000 individual huts laid out in a typological survey. 2015 marked a milestone in the project when Richard returned from British Columbia completing the tenth province. A book is currently in production with essays by Mark Kingwell and Marcus Schubert.

Ice Villages

In 2010, Richard encountered hundreds of huts grouped together in northern Quebec and Manitoba. This series, entitled Ice Villages, is photographed as wide panoramas, exploring community and place. Hockey rinks for the children, restaurants, rental huts and even hydro poles, illuminating these villages into the night, bear witness to the resilience of the inhabitants and offer the viewer a glimpse of celebrating Canada's winter months.

Ice Huts Storm

Ice Huts Storm concentrates on a small community in northern New Brunswick on Chaleur Bay. Colourful shapes poke out from a seamless background, lost in a landscape of driving snow. Birds hover overhead waiting for fishermen's scraps. Tarpaulin enclosures flap like a weathered flag in the relentless wind. Richard takes the viewer into a painterly world of colour and texture as the snow piles up and daylight fades.


2010 Ontario Arts Council Grant; Emerging Visual Artists

2008 – Contact Portfolio Review - Jury Selected - First Place - Ice Huts, Contact 2008 Photography Festival, Toronto


2016 - Rawlinson and Hunter Chartered Accountants | London, UK

2015 - HOK Architect | Toronto

2014 - McCarthy Tétrault | Toronto

2013 - HomEquity Bank | Toronto

2012 - TD Bank Financial Group | Toronto

2011 – Foreign Affairs Canada | Canadian Embassies Worldwide 

2010 – Edelman Canada Collection | Toronto 

2010 – Foreign Affairs Canada | Canadian Embassies Worldwide 

2008 – Bank of Montreal | Toronto

2007 to present – Private Collectors | Australia, Florida, New York, Los Angeles, Switzerland, United Kingdom, 


2015 – 2016 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts & Ice Villages 

2014 Guest Speaker Ice Huts Laurentian Architecture School

2014 – Bulthaup Gallery, Toronto, Ice Villages Solo show

2013 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Portals of Passion, Solo show

2012 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts Storm, Solo show

2011 Agnes Jamieson Gallery, Minden, Ice Huts & Ice Villages show

2010 Lester B Pearson Lobby, Ottawa, FACC Collection, Ice Huts Solo show

2010 – Toronto Image Works Gallery, Toronto, Ice Villages Solo show

2009 – Toronto Image Works Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts Solo show

2009 – Rotunda Gallery, City Hall, Kitchener, Ice Huts Solo show

2009 – GTAA Terminal One, Toronto, Folk Architecture – Ice Huts Solo show

2008 – GTAA Terminal One, Toronto, Ice Huts - Coming Home group show

2008 – Contact Festival group show of juried winners, Toronto, Ice Huts

2007 – Richard Johnson Gallery, Toronto, Ice Huts, first public showing