John Giorno, Storied Artist Who Expanded Poetry’s Possibilities, Is Dead at 82

Oct 13, 2019 212

BY: Andrew Russeth

John Giorno, who blazed an inimitable, almost-impossible-to-believe path through the most venturesome regions of poetry, art, music, and activism in postwar New York, died on Friday. He was 82. His death was confirmed by his galleries Almine Rech and Sperone Westwater.

Giorno was one of those extremely rare figures who would have had an admired career, and earned a place in the canon, even if he had only pursued one of his myriad interests. He wrote gloriously explicit poetry in the 1960s that foregrounded his homosexuality, gave frenetic performances around the world, painted bewitching text paintings, organized efforts to care for colleagues battling HIV/AIDS, and was an early convert in the United States to Tibetan Buddhism and meditation.

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