Dorothy Iannone — Love Is Forever, Isn’t It?

Event

M HKA, Antwerpen, Leuvenstraat 32

05 October 2023 - 21 January 2024

The exhibition Love Is Forever, Isn't It? presents one of the most comprehensive surveys of Dorothy Iannone's prolific body of work, to be showcased at M HKA.

Dorothy Iannone (1933–2022) was an American visual artist who lived and worked in Berlin. Her artistic practice spanned paintings, artists’ books, video installations, sculptures, drawings, and sound works. In her visual and writing oeuvre, she created a unique relationship between text, image, audio, and sculptural objects, emphasising their narrative and fictional dimensions.

The primary focus of this project is the recontextualisation of Iannone's work, specifically examining its intrinsic performative nature, which has been scarcely investigated until now. The exhibition explores novelistic conventions, narrative threads, relationships between words and images, as well as autofictional and biographical elements within her creations.

Iannone examined topics related to female sexuality, which has led to her work being censored on multiple occasions. In her vibrant oeuvre, she explored feelings and emotions, creating an erotic iconography largely inspired by non-Western and Buddhist imagery. She passionately described her intimate friendships and relationships with her muses, artists, and lovers.

Though she shared personal and artistic associations with Fluxus, Dorothy Iannone never considered herself part of the movement. Undoubtedly, her transdisciplinary and multifaceted practice establishes a unique dialogue with the neo-avant-garde movements of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Iannone's exhibition at M HKA takes viewers on an emancipatory journey towards unconditional love, the celebration of matriarchy, and Eros. As she eloquently stated in one of her texts: ‘If in any way, I have helped people to come closer to themselves, that would mean a lot to me.’

Please be aware that the works of art in this exhibition might contain graphic depictions of genitals and sexual acts.

Click here to browse the digital scan of the exhibition.

Publication

The publication Love Is Forever, Isn't It? serves as an extension of the exhibition in collaboration with JRP|Editions. It features essays that delve into the concept of performativity, both in artistic terms and in the context of feminism and female sexuality. The book underscores the significance of Dorothy Iannone's contributions to contemporary art within the international avant-garde while shedding light on the numerous acts of censorship that impacted her artistic journey. The book is set to be released in late November 2023.

About the artist

Dorothy Iannone (1933–2022) was an American visual artist renowned for her vibrant and expressive artistic language. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Iannone initially pursued literature at Boston University before shifting her focus to art in the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, she moved to Europe and became associated with avant-garde art movements seeking to break down artistic boundaries and challenge conventional cultural norms. Her diverse practice encompassed paintings, artists’ books, video installations, sculptures, and sound works. Throughout her career, Iannone’s art has been deeply autobiographical, reflecting her experiences and relationships. Her work often features vibrant, colourful, and explicit depictions of sexuality and the human body, exploring themes of love, ecstasy, and the pursuit of personal freedom. Her bold and unapologetic approach to sexuality has occasionally led to censorship and exclusion.

Iannone’s art has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, her work was presented at: Migros Museum (Zurich), New Museum (New York), Louisiana Museum (Copenhagen), and Berlinische Galerie (Berlin) among other venues.

Online platform

Visit dorothyiannone.ensembles.org to find a wealth of information about Dorothy Iannone and the exhibition. 

(Ta)Rot

M HKA and Triangle books published double-sided copies of the work (Ta)Rot, based on 54 original drawings from 1968/69 by Dorothy Iannone. A limited edition that is now available in the M HKA shop for € 38.

This work by Dorothy Iannone is a series of twenty-seven cards depicting the life of Dieter Roth, her beloved and muse. During 1968-69, Dorothy Iannone worked on the cards while living in Düsseldorf where Dieter was a professor at the Academy of Art. This is a facsimile of the drawings censored during the exhibition "Friends and Their Friends " curated by Harald Szeemann at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969. 

De Cinema programme

As part of the exhibition, DE CINEMA is programming several films connected to Dorothy Iannone's series of works Movie People presented in M HKA. The series of sculptures is about the artist's favorite films that feature unconditional loves, or at least, the sacrifice of one's own happiness for the sake of the beloved.

© Dorothy Iannone, People, series circa 1966-67. Image: courtesy ahlers collection

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