John Giorno Joins Sperone Westwater

John Giorno, LIFE IS A KILLER, 2018.


John Giorno, the storied New York artist and poet who was the subject of a 13-venue retrospective in New York last year, is now represented by Sperone Westwater, which will show his work at its booth at Art Basel Miami Beach next week. The New York gallery also plans to present a solo show with Giorno next year.

The big retrospective “I John Giorno,” which originated at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2015, was organized by the artist’s partner, Ugo Rondinone, and encompassed the full span of his career, from early efforts in poetry (like his Dial-A-Poem project, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) to more recent works that place pungent turns of phrase—“BAD NEWS IS ALWAYS TRUE,” “JUST SAY NO TO FAMILY VALUES,” “A HURRICANE IN A DROP OF CUM”—atop monochromatic or gradient backgrounds.

“I’m not so aggressive about making things happen,” Giorno said a few years ago when asked about how his first shows as an artist came about. “I do everything. I’ve spent a lifetime doing everything. I just sort of let it happen.”

Giorno had previously worked in New York with dealer Elizabeth Dee, who closed her gallery earlier this year. “Elizabeth Dee has been a steadfast advocate of Giorno’s work for the last several years,” a news release sent today reads. “Sperone Westwater appreciates her efforts and looks forward to continuing them.”

Those looking to get a glimpse of Giorno right now can head to the Whitney Museum’s current Andy Warhol retrospective, where he appears twice with his eyes closed in Large Sleep (1965), a standing piece that derives from Warhol’s film Sleep, for which Giorno served as the subject.

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