On the evening of June 21, 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, including NYU Steinhardt’s 80WSE Gallery.
I ♥ John Giorno is a work of art by Giorno’s husband, 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 80thbirthday.
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. In addition to 80WSE, 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, and White Columns. 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. Rondinone describes the show saying: “I ♥ John Giorno is a kaleidoscopic exhibition about the life and work of American poet and Tibetan Buddhist John Giorno, whose rich and stimulating life has woven many threads of American culture and spirituality. Within the dreamscape of the exhibition, one is invited to wander through the juxtaposed realm of art and poetry where image and language build upon themselves in a layered stream of consciousness driven by the biographical, the conceptual, and the emotional.”
As part of I ♥ John Giorno, 80WSE Gallery will display a mural in the Washington Windows (facing Washington Square Park at 80 Washington Square East) designed by Scott King as an ode to John Giorno. Featured in the Broadway Windows (at Broadway and East 10th Street), 80WSE’s satellite space, are five rainbow paintings by John Giorno. Visit both street-facing exhibits 24 hours a day, seven days a week through August 20.