The John Giorno Foundation and Almine Rech
present SPACE MIRRORS MIND, a sculpture by John Giorno, exhibited for the first time, from the late series entitled Stone Poems: a found glacial granite into which a poetic phrase is engraved.
This work from the late series entitled 'Stone Poems' portrays the dynamic between the intangibility of language and the solid materiality of stone. Similar works were shown in 2017 at the Château de Versailles outside Paris as part of Voyage dhiver, an exhibition organized by the Palais de Tokyo.
John Giorno (1936-2019) is recognised as one of the most innovative poets and artists of the twentieth century. His kaleidoscopic work fused and furthered poetry, visual art and activism, pushing text off the printed page and into the social realm. Laura Hoptman, Executive Director of the Drawing Center, New York, writes in the publication for the Giorno retrospective at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, What if concrete poetry and Pop Art merged, like perfect lovers? They would produce John Giorno, muse of the greatest single-word movie (Sleep, 1963) and author of found object word poetry... Giornos friendships with Warhol, then Burroughs, and subsequently, his close liaisons with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, indicate his presence in the orbit of visual art rather than literature in New York.
An originator of Performance Poetry, Giornos 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 mediums of painting, sculpture and works on paper. This led to strong support and critical acclaim by artists of younger generations, from Philippe Parreno, Ugo Rondinone and Rirkrit Tiravanija - yielding new museum tributes worldwide.
The work of John Giorno embraces two disciplines: poetry and art, which have been a source of mutual fascination and inspiration for the artist. Harboring a close kinship with William Burroughs, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, for whom he starred in the famous film, Sleep (1963), Giorno is recognised today as one of the most influential poets of his generation. He is also considered the inventor of Performance Poetry, and of Dial-A-Poem - a free telephone line to connect listeners to recordings of original works of poetry. Giorno's words transform to images in his Poem Paintings which are short excerpts from his writings, phrases that have continually haunted him. At the crossroads between poetry, visual arts, music and performance, Giorno's work directs itself toward a broad public, redefining the capabilities of poetry and linguistic form.