Disappearance of poet John Giorno – 14 October 2019

The multi-disciplinary New York writer and artist was one of the last representatives of the American Beat Generation.

Poet, painter and performance artist, he was the champion of a radical and sonorous poetry.John Giorno passed away Friday, October 11, at the age of 82.The information has been confirmed by the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York, which is currently showing watercolors, sculptures, and posters until October 26th.

Born in New York in 1936, John Giorno composed his first poem at the age of 14.He entered Columbia University, graduated in 1958 and immersed himself in New York’s avant-garde circles, where he met, among others, the author William Burroughs.Andy Warhol’s lover and muse, John Giorno is the sleeping hero immortalized in the famous film Sleep, shot by the Pop Art pope in 1963.

During this period, he told Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist: “It occurred to me that poetry was 75 years behind painting, sculpture, dance and music.A large part of his work will aim to bridge this gap by reforming this literature, both in terms of its form and its dissemination.

In 1967, he founded the Giorno Poetry System (GPS), which led to the creation of a label, some 40 albums, several music groups and his most famous creation: “Dial-A-Poem”, a telephone service for listening to poetry.

In the 1980s, revenues from GPS-recorded sound poetry were donated to AIDS victims and emerging artists suffering from the virus.I had always imagined my Pornographic Poem as part of the liberation of the gay movement, but it was a disaster,” John Giorno told Frieze in 2015, “I decided I had to do something more.

Over the course of his career, John Giorno has developed a plastic practice enabling him to declaim collected poetic formulas, in the form of subversive (“Just say No to family values”) or provocative (“A Hurricane in a drop of cum”) advertising slogans, on small and large format paintings.Other formulas were inspired by Buddhist culture, which the artist had been a follower of since 1956.

His work was presented in 2015 as part of a retrospective at the Palais de Tokyo.Entitled “UGO RONDINONE: I ♥ JOHN GIORNO”, the exhibition was staged by the poet’s companion, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, and then reactivated in New York.

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