EXHIBITION

Dorothy Iannone​ — Love Is Forever, Isn't It? 
6 Oct 2023 – 21 Jan 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 unconventional 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.


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.


(Ta)Rot Pack — artist edition 

This series of 27 double-sided cards depicts the life of Dieter Roth, Dorothy Iannone’s beloved and muse, in the early period of their relationship. During 1968–69, Iannone worked on the cards while they were living in Düsseldorf where Dieter was professor at Kunstakademie. The original drawings were censored during the exhibition Friends curated by Harald Szeemann at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969.

“Because of my love for him, Dieter was a source of inspiration for my work. (...) In the (Ta)Rot cards, I documented, in a way, every one of his activities — Dieter teaching, writing, making love, shopping, cooking, siting on the toilet even, Dieter drinking, having a hangover, going to the laundry, Dieter with his children, in a gallery, fishing, hunting, and even dreaming.” 

Dorothy lannone interviewed by Dirk Dobke, Deep in the heart of my loneliness, I think of the art of my lioness, in Dieter Roth and Dorothy Iannone (Berlin, Holzwarth Publications, 2005), p.152.

 

This artist edition is published on the occasion of the exhibition: Dorothy Iannone — Love Is Forever, Isn’t It? curated by Joanna Zielińska
© The Estate of Dorothy Iannone, courtesy Air de Paris, Romainville. Design by Olivier Vandervliet. Lithography by Olivier Dengis, Brussels Printed in Belgium. Published by M HKA and Triangle Books. All rights reserved, 2023.