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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Twister: John Giorno at Nicole Klagsbrun


John Giorno, Just Say No To Family Values, 2009. Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches. Courtesy of Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery

John Giorno, Just Say No To Family Values, 2009. Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches. Courtesy of Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery

It is little surprise that the debut art exhibition of septuagenerian poet John Giorno should be “in your face.” An inveterate experimenter with new formats for poetry performance, Giorno pioneered what he called “Electronic Sensory Poetry Environments” in response to the work of Robert Rauschenberg, and then honed his perfomance technique from visits to rock venues in the company of William S. Burroughs. The star of Warhol’s movie “Sleeper” (1963), Giorno’s art falls into the category of concrete poetry. At Nicole Klagsbrun he has an installation of wittily and nihilistically twisted truisms, like “Life is a Killer” and “Thanx 4 Nothing,” poetic haikus like “Millions of stars come into my head welcome home” or mischeviously juxtaposed found snippets, as in “Just say no to family values.” His texts are presented in two formats: roughly dispatched black and white paintings of varying though generally modest scale are hung upon silver walls sporting billboard-sized, uniformly-shaped, graphically-punchy renderings of the same spunky, provocative one liners stencilled in white.

On view through June 12 at 526 West 26th Street, between 10th and 11th avenues, Tel 212 243 3335.


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