John Giorno


acrylic on canvas
40 x 40 inches

It would be difficult to understate poet and artist John Giorno’s influence on the modern cultural landscape. In the 1960s, he worked alongside Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Bob Moog. In1965, he founded the nonprofit Giorno Poetry Systems to record spoken word albums for poets and artists. His seminal 1968 work Dial-a-Poem allowed visitors to call in and hear poems from live recordings by Laurie Anderson, John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and numerous others. Giorno has been creating text paintings for over 40 years, most recently in a trademark font Mark Michaelson made for him in 1984. The bold phrases on his canvases, excerpted from his poetry, align to a tight geometry on the canvas and can seem deadpan and even dismissive, at times, though on further reflection, they reveal their own pop wisdom. A retrospective of Giorno’s work, Ugo Rondinone, I John Giorno, was presented at the Palais de Tokyo in 2015 and at 13 venues across New York in 2017. Giorno is represented in major collections including MoMA, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), Luxembourg; and Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.