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Dorothy Iannone

°1933, Boston (US) – lives and works in Berlin (DE)

Dorothy Iannone is a self-taught artist focusing on issues of emancipation, sexuality, politics and spiritual awakening. She has been developing a singular body of work for over half a century. From 1967 she lived with Swiss-German artist Dieter Roth for a number of years, starting a thorough intertwining of her personal (and amorous) life with her artistic work. This emphatic autobiographical and narrative aspect of her work is expressed in paintings, drawings, graphic novels, sculptures, artist’s books, text-based works, collages and photographic works.

In the 1960s, Iannone produced abstract expressionist works, yet from the 1970s onwards, she has developed in a more figurative direction with herself, her partner, and what she calls ‘ecstatic unity’ as central subjects. Iannone’s body, depicted as an ornately bejewelled divine Matriarch, becomes entangled with that of her Muse, the Swiss-German artist Dieter Roth. Black lines and colour fields define overwhelming mosaics and two-dimensional tableaus of copulating couples whose male and female parts become interchangeable in the higher union of spiritual oneness. Confident women break free of all restraint and figure in a tale of love, sex, treason and power. The sexual act is emphasized and celebrated, much as it was in Antiquity.

The artist’s many travels in Asia and Europe also left traces in her techniques and motifs. The perspectiveless compositions are reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints, Greek vases or Middle-Eastern erotic paintings; her colourful mosaics and mandala-shapes recall Buddhist, Byzantine or 17th-century Baroque traditions.

(courtesy of KIOSK)

Iannone’s work has often been subjected to censorship and has long been neglected. With the turn of the millennium, however, this has gradually changed and she has since exhibited solo shows in such venues as Tate Modern, London; Migros Museum, Zurich; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Kiosk, Ghent; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and New Museum, New York.

Dorothy Iannone is represented by the following galleries;
click through to discover more of her work.

Peres Projects, Berlin  

Air de Paris, Paris  

Anton Kern Gallery, New York