You don’t get called “art’s original bad girl” (The Guardian) for nothing: In true bad girl style – and this lady is over 80 – Dorothy Iannone agreed to contribute to TISSUE N°4 but pulled out the last minute. BAD! Still, that made us love her even more. She is just so many things that TISSUE cherishes: a provocateur, and as such, an advocate of liberation, a great artist (but not afraid to take an outsider’s perspective), a fighter for female empowerment, a devotee of ecstatic love.
Also she is very straight forward about sexuality. Which is why, when you visit her retrospective a Berlinische Galerie, you‘ll get to see a lot of penises and labia (interesting fact: the latter look swollen, like testicles). Dorothy Iannone‘s paintings remind of greek vases, kamasutra-style illustrations, just a bit of Klimt and a great dose of pop. They are as vivid in their display of entangled bodies as they are non-pornographic. Back in the 60s and 70s that was perceived quite differently of course, as many works fell to censorship and were confiscated when shown publicly. Here in Berlin, one can see 150 of her works – not only paintings, but also objects, books, and films – and many shown together for the first time.
It seems that – after some recognition in various biennales in recent years – the art world is now ready to fully embrace it‘s bad girl.
This Sweetness Outside Of Time
Paintings, Objects, Books 1959 – 2014
Berlinische Galerie 20.2. – 2.6.
Text: Hans Bussert
Photography: Timothy Schaumburg