NEW YORK, NY – On the evening of the June 21st summer solstice, Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno —the first major U.S. exhibition about the American poet, artist, activist and muse John Giorno—will open simultaneously across 13 locations in New York City. I ♥ John Giorno is a work of art by Giorno’s partner, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The exhibition is a celebration of the life and work of John Giorno—an artist whose work has influenced generations. Taking place in his chosen hometown, the exhibition affords a unique opportunity for Giorno’s contributions to be recognized within the canons of American poetry and art history, and celebrates the artist’s 80th birthday.
I ♥ John Giorno is an unprecedented collaboration between leading non-profit and alternative spaces across New York, which are joining forces for the first time to mount a multilayered exhibition on a single subject. Partner venues include: 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, White Columns, and 80WSE Gallery. Reconfigured as a festival, including installations in galleries and public spaces, as well as a full roster of public programs and events, I ♥ John Giorno is free and open to the public.
Expanding upon the exhibition that took place at Palais de Tokyo in Paris from October 2015 to January 2016, I ♥ John Giorno has been re-conceptualized specifically for New York, highlighting Giorno’s significant relationship with the city, and his singular role in creating and fostering community here. The 18-part exhibition has been divided by Rondinone into chapters reflecting the layers of Giorno’s life and work, his longstanding influence on and dedication to his chosen hometown of New York City, and his relationships with artist friends, lovers and collaborators including: Richard Bosman, Phong Bui, Angela Bulloch, Anne Collier, Verne Dawson, Judith Eisler, John Giorno, Mark Handforth, Matthew Higgs, Pierre Huyghe, Françoise Janicot, Scott King, Elizabeth Peyton, Ugo Rondinone, Erik Satie, Kendall Shaw, Michael Stipe, Billy Sullivan, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Peter Ungerleider, Joan Wallace, and Andy Warhol, whose work will be presented as part of the festival.
The exhibition format echoes the symbiotic relationship between Ugo Rondinone and John Giorno, who have been both partners and collaborators for the past two decades.
UGO RONDINONE’S THANX FOR NOTHING is an immersive audio-visual experience in which John Giorno recites his most renowned poem THANX FOR NOTHING. “I give enormous thanks to all my lovers, / beautiful men with brilliant minds, / great artists, / Bob, Jasper, Ugo, / may they come here now / and make love to you .” Written on his 70th birthday, this masterpiece reflects on his life with gratitude, on the people and events that shaped it, on the death of friends and lovers, on sex, depression, inspiration, and life mixing biting irony with Buddhist wisdom
JOHN GIORNO ARCHIVE is an installation of over ten thousand documents detailing Giorno’s life and career, giving an intimate view into the genesis of much of Giorno’s most famous work, his unique method, his personal and professional relationships, his inner mind, and his streams of consciousness.
JOHN GIORNO’s WELCOMING THE FLOWERS, a collection of 18 poem paintings by Giorno.
John Giorno (b. 1936, New York City, USA) is an artistic innovator who has been defying conventional definitions of poet, performer, political activist, Tibetan Buddhist, and visual artist since he emerged upon the New York art scene during the late 1950s. In the 1960s, he began producing multi-media, multi-sensory events concurrent with Warholג€™s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. He worked with Rauschenbergג€™s Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T) in 1966, and with Bob Moog in 1967-68. His breakthroughs in this area include Dial-A-Poem, which was first presented in 1968 at the Architectural Society of New York, and was later included in the MoMAג€™s Information exhibition in 1970. His contributions are significant to many culturally defining moments: the Beat generation, Pop Art, Punk, the Pictures Generation, and the hip-hop era. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Musֳ©e National dֲ´Art Moderne, Paris; and Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; among others.
Ugo Rondinone (b. 1964, Brunnen, Switzerland) is a renowned mixed-media artist who lives and works in New York. Recent solo shows include: your age my age and the age of the rainbow, The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; letג€™s start this day again, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; every time the sun comes up, Place Vendome, Paris; girono dג€™oro + notti dג€™argento, Mercati die Traiano, Rome; becoming soil, Carre dג€™Art, Nֳ®mes; seven magic mountains, Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art/Desert of Nevada; vocabulary of solitude, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Ugo Rondinone: I ג™¥ן¸ John Giorno, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; golden days and silver nights, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; and artists and poets, Secession, Vienna. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others. Upcoming shows include the world just makes me laugh at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; and good evening beautiful blue at Bass Museum of Art, Miami.