John Giorno is now an octogenarian, which means it’s time to properly celebrate. As a toast to the artist, activist, and poet, 13 New York museums, alternative spaces, and institutions will showcase various aspects of Giorno’s career starting on June 21. This survey exhibition will be staged by Giorno’s husband, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, who previously paid homage to Giorno in the form of a Palais de Toyko exhibition in 2015.
Like the Palais de Tokyo show, this exhibition will be titled “Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno.” Participating institutions include 80WSE Gallery, Artists Space, High Line Art, Howl! Happening, Hunter College Art Galleries, the Kitchen, New Museum, Red Bull Arts New York, Rubin Museum of Art, Sky Art, Swiss Institute, and White Columns.
As part of the exhibition, certain institutions will recreate some of Giorno’s most famous works. Red Bull Arts New York, for example, will re-stage Giorno’s 1969 piece Dial-A-Poem, a phone service in which callers could hear poetry by William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and others when they dialed in. Other participants will showcase works dedicated to Giorno. The Swiss Institute will show Andy Warhol’s 1963 film Sleep, in which Giorno sleeps for over five hours, among other pieces.
” ‘I ♥ John Giorno’ is a kaleidoscopic exhibition about the life and work of American poet and Tibetan Buddhist John Giorno, whose rich and stimulating life has woven many threads of American culture and spirituality,” Rondinone explained in a statement. “Within the dreamscape of the exhibition, one is invited to wander through the juxtaposed realm of art and poetry where image and language build upon themselves in a layered stream of consciousness driven by the biographical, the conceptual, and the emotional.”