The John Giorno Foundation has announced two major monographic gallery exhibitions this year in New York and London, marking the first posthumous presentations of the artist’s work since his passing in October of 2019 and establishing representation of the artist’s work in the US and Europe.
From end of March through May 2021, Sperone Westwater, New York will mount an in-depth presentation of Giorno’s work. The exhibition will showcase the range of Giorno’s artistic production and collaboration, incorporating several series by the artist, some of which have never been exhibited. This will be the artist’s second solo show with Sperone Westwater in New York, following the gallery’s 2019 presentation of Do the Undone, which featured paintings, works on paper, and carved bluestone sculptures sourced from upstate New York, and was on view when the artist unexpectedly passed away at age 82.
This autumn Almine Rech, London will present its first solo exhibition of the artist in London from October 5th to November 14th, 2021. The multi-disciplinary presentation will centre around the final painting series created by the artist, titled “Perfect Flowers,” marking the debut of this series in the UK and Europe. Almine Rech was the first commercial gallery to exhibit the artist, first in Paris in 2009, and subsequently in Paris and Brussels (respectively) in 2010, 2012 and 2015. This will be the fifth solo show of Giorno’s work at Almine Rech and the second exhibition ever in the UK.
Following the formation of the John Giorno Foundation in 2020, Sperone Westwater and Almine Rech will jointly represent the artist’s work alongside Galerie Eva Presenhuber. Together, the two galleries’ forthcoming exhibitions span the artist’s prolific career to celebrate his inspiring, multi-disciplinary practice.
The John Giorno Foundation was established in 2020 in honor of the life and work of the artist John Giorno (1936-2019), as a posthumous transformation of Giorno Poetry Systems, Inc. founded and incorporated by Giorno in 1965 as a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization.
“We are pleased to announce these groundbreaking exhibitions in New York and London with Sperone Westwater and Almine Rech. It was important to both find continuity with dealers that worked with John during his lifetime to preserve a solid foundation for the curatorial future. The two major shows this year will have lasting impact and secure John’s continuing influence internationally.”Elizabeth Dee, the Foundation’s Director
About John Giorno
John Giorno (1936-2019) is recognized as one of the most innovative poets and artists of the 20th Century. His kaleidoscopic work fused and furthered poetry, visual art and activism, pushing text off the printed page and into the social realm. As Randy Kennedy wrote in The New York Times, “Mr. Giorno’s lasting contribution to art came through his restless experiments in the circulation and political potential of poetry, which he felt had been unjustly overshadowed by other genres of expression.” Giorno’s interdisciplinary roles as a political activist, Tibetan Buddhist and performance artist culminated in a burst of creativity in the second half of his artistic career. From 1995-2019, the artist produced an impressive body of visual art in the medium of painting, sculpture and works on paper, which have been critically acclaimed. Additionally, over the past twenty-five years,Giorno worked on a memoir of his extraordinary life which he completed shortly before his death. The autobiography, Great Demon Kings: A Memoir of Poetry, Sex, Death and Enlightenment will be published in paperback in August of 2021 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.