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  • Source: Financial Times
  • Author: Gareth Harris
  • Date: MARCH 21, 2021
  • Format: Digital

Trailblazing artists: some late, all great

For its sixth edition of online viewing rooms, ‘Pioneers’, Art Basel presents ‘artists who have broken new aesthetic, conceptual, or sociopolitical ground’. We spotlight six of the best

(L): John Giorno, ‘A Youth Winces’ (1971) (R): John Giorno, ‘Bad News is Always True’ (2015) © Courtesy of the John Giorno Collection, John Giorno Archives and Morán Morán

Morán Morán (Los Angeles)

One of John Giorno’s most innovative projects was “Dial-A-Poem”, shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1970 exhibition Information, whereby people could ring a phone number and hear poetry by writers such as Anne Waldman and John Ashbery, as well as civil rights speeches (the number, incidentally, was also listed in The New York Times).

Giorno died in October 2019, and was “ahead of his time in terms of implementing technology as media for fine art”, says David Daniels of Morán Morán gallery, making him “a great choice for the Art Basel OVR: Pioneers, given the emphasis on boundary-pushing artists”. A selection of paintings and silkscreens on paper by Giorno priced between $7,000 and $45,000 are available including “A Youth Winces” (1971) and “Bad News is Always True” (2015).

John Giorno © Courtesy of the John Giorno Foundation. Photo: Peter Ross

“In terms of the market, there is a growing demand for his work; interest has only increased since his death in 2019, when he was enjoying a renaissance beyond his established status in art history. We see the continued growth of a late-blooming market catching up with a strong critical and curatorial reputation,” says Daniels. Giorno’s works will be paired on the OVR with pieces by the late US artist Dash Snow, recontextualising the art of both; a series of Giorno’s audio tracks will also be available.