Artist John Giorno, the poet and artist whose practice turned poetry towards a living, breathing mode of art, separated from the page, has passed away at the age of 82 in his home in Lower Manhattan. A longtime fixture in the New York art scene, Giorno would explore a range of techniques and modes for promoting his work outside the book or magazine. He founded Giorno Poetry Systems, a nonprofit foundation, and designed a mass communication system called Dial-A-Poem, which allowed for people to call in and hear orated poetry over the phone.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Giorno was a consummate New York artist, a fixture in the early days of Warhol’s Factory and a tireless supporter of his friends and fellows, creating and organizing groups and events to share ideas and forge communal ties that underscored his vision and passion for New York’s fellow artists. In the past several years, his work and spirit has been recognized by a number of galleries, and a recent body of work is on view now at Sperone Westwater.
“John was filled with extraordinary generosity, presence, and humor, not to mention a deep drive to be part of conversations and collaborations with artists,” said dealer Elizabeth Dee. “In terms of art and the multi-generational influence John had, both as muse and mentor, we may never see the likes of someone like him again.”