Photo by Timothy Schenck

Dorothy Iannone

I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door

February 2018 – March 2020

Adjacent to the High Line at 22nd St.

Dorothy Iannone is a Berlin-based artist whose works focus on eroticism and the female sexual experience. Inspired by Egyptian frescoes, Byzantine mosaics, and ancient fertility statues, Iannone depicts the act of lovemaking not as an act of taboo, but rather as an act of spiritual union and transcendence. While now commonly lauded as transgressive and radical, her work, which often portrays her love affair with the late artist Dieter Roth, has been subject to frequent censorship since the 1960s. Iannone and Roth began creating work side-by-side after Iannone moved to Europe in 1967, and the two artists influenced each other’s works greatly for almost a decade. Overlooked for much of her career, Iannone’s magnetic and highly influential work finally began to receive widespread recognition in the late 2000s.

For the High Line, Iannone creates a new, large-scale mural installation at 22nd St. Iannone’s mural features three colorful Statues of Liberty. Between them runs the words, “I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door,” which is the final line from Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” the ode to the freedom promised by immigration to America engraved on a bronze plaque mounted inside the statue at Liberty Island. Iannone’s piece was conceived before the recent months of upheaval in the United States around immigration, an already contested topic; these debates have raised the Statue of Liberty anew as a symbol of the openness of New York City and the United States to those seeking asylum, freedom, or simply a better life. Iannone’s vibrant Liberties bring a bit of joy to an often exhausting and demoralizing political debate.

Organized by Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator.

Artist bio

Dorothy Iannone (b. 1933, Boston, Massachusetts) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at venues including the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France (2016); Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland (2014); Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London, England (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); the New Museum, New York City (2009); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2006); and The Wrong Gallery, Tate Modern, London, England (2005). Iannone’s work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland (2017); Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2015). Her work has been featured in major international exhibitions including the 2nd Athens Biennal, Athens, Greece (2009); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006); Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2005); Friends of Fluxus Exhibition, collaterial event to the 48th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (1999); and Daniel Spoerri, Moulin des Jouissances, collaterial event to the 37th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (1976).


Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support for High Line Art is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson.

Dorothy Iannone, I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door, is made possible, in part, by an in-kind donation from Morgenstern Capital and Canvas Property Group. Additional in-kind support is provided by Colossal Media.