For over 60 years, Dorothy Iannone has created colourful, unabashed, boundary-breaking works that celebrate ideas of freedom. She is known for her deeply personal and autobiographical narratives exploring love, spirituality and ecstatic unity. Throughout her career, Iannone has been subject to frequent censorship, which has contributed to her life’s work being under-recognized.
Dorothy Iannone: Liberties is the artist’s first exhibition in Canada and features work from the 1960s up until today. Six large-scale wall paintings, accompanied by an audio installation, focus on the Statue of Liberty, a powerful female figure that Iannone has returned to throughout her practice. Prints, drawings and paintings range from intimate domestic scenes to urgent manifestoes on liberation and fantastical depictions of men and women from literature and mythology. Also included are two of Iannone’s iconic video boxes and a selection of Movie People, small painted sculptures of characters from films about intense love and what is risked for it.
Iannone’s vision embraces life, bursting with energy and the search for connection. Her work considers freedom—personal, sexual, political, creative—as something to be continually claimed and celebrated.
Curated by Rose Bouthillier, Curator (Exhibitions)
Dorothy Iannone (b. 1933, Boston, USA) lives and works in Berlin. She attended Boston University and Brandeis University where she majored in Literature. In 1961, she successfully sued the American Government to allow Henry Miller’s banned novel Tropic of Cancer to be brought into the country. She began painting in 1959 and traveled extensively with her husband James Upham in Europe and Asia. From 1963 until 1967, they ran a co-operative gallery on Tenth Street in New York, and in 1966 they live for some months in the South of France, where Iannone began a close friendship with Robert Filliou and other artists from Fluxus community. On a trip to Iceland in 1967, she met and fell in love with German-Swiss artist Dieter Roth, and they lived together in different European cities until 1974. In 1976, Iannone moved to Berlin after receiving a grant from the DAAD Berlin Artists’ Program, and the city has been her home ever since.
Solo exhibitions of Iannone’s work have been held at the New Museum, New York (2009), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2006) and Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2005). Her work was included in the 4th Berlin Biennial in 2006, curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnik, and the 2006 Whitney Biennial, curated by Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne. She has produced numerous artist books and is the subject of several monographs including Dorothy Iannone: This Sweetness Outside of Time (2014); Dorothy Iannone: Censorship and the Irrepressible Drive Toward Love and Divinity (2015); and Dorothy Iannone: A Cookbook (2019). Iannone’s work is held in significant international collections, including at Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich.
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