Female artist renowned for her pieces depicting copulating couples dies

Dorothy Iannone - Image Twitter AndrewRusseth

Dorothy Iannone, an artist whose works were regularly banned for their sexuality but which are now revered, has died at the age of 89.

According to news channel NRC on Friday, December 30, Iannone created works that were full of genitalia and copulating characters that regularly fell foul of the censors in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Today she is renowned as a pioneering artist who critics are looking at through new eyes, with her explicit but beautifully crafted artworks appealing to new audiences.

Her works have been shown in top galleries such as the Tate Modern in London and the Whitney Biennale in New York, which show everything from copulating couples to masturbating women. She even went so far as to film herself but later said in an interview with the art magazine Flash Art: “I’m always ashamed when I see this film, even when no one is there.

“I wonder how I was able to make that video, but I’m so glad I did.”

Married to a wealthy investor, Iannone travelled the world painting as she went. But even that got her into trouble with a book in her possession being confiscated by U.S. customs in 1960. But she took them all the way to the Supreme Court, which resulted in the unbanning of Henry Miller’s Novel Tropic of Cancer.

Often described as a freedom fighter she followed heart, fighting censorship as she went, and in the process rejecting much of society’s expectations.

For much of her life, her works were banned, but in the last 25 years, they have received the recognition they deserve.

Describing the artist whose works were regularly banned but are now revered,

French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou said she is “a freedom fighter and a powerful and dedicated artist who pursued no less than human liberation.”


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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