New York’s Elizabeth Dee gallery announced today that it will represent the poet and artist John Giorno. His first solo show with the gallery will be in April 2015. The release leads with this formidable sentence: “John Giorno is recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation.” True! At 77 (78 next month), he’s a living legend, having collaborated with a good percentage of the superstars of downtown New York over the past half century. As Dee points out, he even appeared in Warhol’s 1963 film Sleep, an excerpt of which appears below.
From the release:
Giorno’s shared interest with Robert Rauschenberg in the frontiers of technology (E.A.T./Experiments in Art and Technology) continued his exploration in the recorded word. He made sound compositions of his poems, using synthesizers and technology, and dubbed the final installations “electronic sensory poetry environments.” For this practice Giorno collaborated with Bob Moog in 1966-68 and with engineer Bob Bielecki for forty-five years. In 1965, he founded Giorno Poetry Systems, a nonprofit production company designed to introduce new, innovative poetry to wider audiences. In 1967, Giorno called upon fellow artists, including William S. Burroughs, Frank O’Hara, Patti Smith, John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, John Cage, Gary Snyder, Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass to record poems for his Dial-a-Poem project, which used the telephone to connect listeners to recordings of poems. Dial-a-Poem received considerable critical acclaim in the 1970 exhibition Information at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and was re-exhibited at MoMA in 2012.
And more big news: Paris’s Palais de Tokyo will present an “outsized retrospective” of Giorno’s work in September 2015.
Giorno previously showed in New York at Nicole Klagsbrun gallery, which closed last year, and is also represented by Max Wigram, of London, and Almine Rech, of Brussels and Paris.
Update, November 26: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the curators of Giorno’s forthcoming retrospective.