news: spring 2015
Yoko Ono at MoMa for the catelogue cover. ©Kishin Shinoyama/Lenono Photo Archive.
yoko ono: one woman show, 1960-1971 at moMa
Finally, a Yoko Ono's solo exhibition at MoMA! From the press release: "Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971 examines the beginnings of Ono's career, demonstrating her pioneering role in visual art, performance and music during the 1960s and early 1970s. It begins in New York in December 1960, where Ono initiated a performance series with La Monte Young in her Chambers Street loft. Over the course of the decade, Ono earned international recognition, staging "Cut Piece" in Kyoto and Tokyo in 1964, exhibiting at the Indica Gallery in London in 1966, and launching with John Lennon her global "War Is Over!" campaign in 1969. Ono returned to New York in the early 1970s and organized an unsanctioned "one woman show" at MoMA. Over 40 years after Ono's unofficial MoMA debut, the Museum presents its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the artist's work."
The exhibition catalogue which is a homage to the
artists book by
Yoko Ono from 1971 by the same title
The New York Times (May 6th 2015): "Yoko Ono was about to burn a painting. Standing alongside curators and conservators in an unused gallery at the Museum of Modern Art this spring, the 82-year-old superstar wanted to copy a cigarette hole that John Cage, the avant-garde composer, had burned into another blank canvas of hers half a century earlier. For the remake, she had asked for the French cigarettes that Cage would have used but ended up settling for one from Nat Sherman. Lighting up in a museum that had not smelled of tobacco for decades, she reached out and, with a sure artist’s touch, scorched a tidy round hole. Velazquez painting the Spanish king could not have been watched more closely than Ms. Ono was — though it was hard to know whether these courtiers were crowding around to witness creation or to prevent conflagration. “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971,” opening on May 17 in one of MoMA’s prestigious sixth-floor galleries, is a major event of the museum’s summer season. On display will be more than 100 vintage works — and in a few cases, as with the burned canvas, facsimiles — that represent the heyday of Ms. Ono’s first career in art, long overshadowed by her better-known image as pop-culture icon and widow of John Lennon. (--)"
"Ms. Ono, who was born in Tokyo, describes her commitment to conceptual art as starting before her first day of school. “When I was about 4 years old, I had all these ideas,” she recalled. She described a moment when she stood with her mother in their fruit garden, and told her, “Why don’t you just take one seed from a fruit and another seed from another fruit, and halve it and put it together and bury it? It might grow something really strange.” She got a playmate to write down this idea, she said, adding, “and that’s the kind of thing that was going on, from the beginning: I had decided that whenever I get an idea I have to show it to the world.” That balancing act between esoteric ideas and their mass dissemination may make Ms. Ono perfect for today’s MoMA. Her celebrity solo exhibition steers a course between the crowd-bait blockbusters no museum can resist and the substantial shows that artists and critics hope for from the museum. (--)"
"Art is challenging,” she said. “As life is. I think life is very challenging to each one of us."
International Business Times (May 13th 2015): "Curator Christophe Cherix said the show was designed to let the works speak for themselves, so each piece could be understood on its own and how it is connected to the others. "We really tried to understand what were her key contributions in the first decade of her practice. And narrowed down to the pieces we felt really the most influence today," Cherix said. "Later in 1971 she does 'Fly' where she follows a fly on a naked body. How those two works work together? There are seven years in between, one is black and white and a performance. One is a film with a professional model and is in colour. Both are about nudity, both are about being extremely vulnerable."
"He said: "We feel it has long been overshadowed. Yoko Ono is a very well-known figure, but few people know that when she met John Lennon she had 10 years behind her as an artist – and she was well-known. Not as well-known as she has become."
Yoko Ono herself about the MoMa show in May 2015
More exhibitions by Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono with her installation piece "Apple"(1964). Photo by Reuters.
More about the show in the media
"Why Yoko Ono Is Her Own Breed Of Celebrity" / The Huffington Post: "Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933 to a Buddhist mother/classical painter and a Christian father/classical composer and pianist. "One reason why my artwork was kind of ignored as a child was because my mother was such an incredible traditional painter," Ono explained in an interview with The Huffington Post. "Whenever I did something she'd say 'Wait, a minute. You don't do it that way!' She interfered with my painting. I really thought she had the right to, as a professional artist. But I felt intimidated and also guilty for pursuing art when my mother was supposed to be the one artist in the house." While not quite nurturing of her budding artistic interests as a child, Ono's parents did provide her with a vibrant example of a loving relationship, between two creatives nonetheless. "People think that Asian people have arranged marriages or something like that, but it's not true," she said. "They met in school, they got very into it and they got married. Both of them were very artistic people. I came into the picture and I had my own thing going. But it was not really appreciated by them. The kind of thing I was doing was a little bit too far out."
"Yoko Goes Solo" / The New Yorker: "I asked Ono which other artists’ work interests her. She said, “I think about all artists. I’m not saying it to be tactful. People think being an artist must be the easiest thing in the world. But it’s not. So I admire their courage. And I’m always hoping that all of them are going to very successful. Because one day there will be so many artists that together we’re just going to float."
"Why Yoko Ono (Still) Matters" / Vogue: "Ono is frank about their creative equality, even now. In the most recent issue of W, she says: “John was very well established in his field. But he realized that I was very established in mine, too. So it was a meeting of two souls in a very powerful way.” She changed him as much as he changed her."
beautiful new books about yoko ono and also her art
"See Hear Yoko" was created by my dear long-time friend & the US rock radio legend Jody Denberg and the amazing photographer Bob Gruen as a surprise birthday present to Yoko.
From the book description: "See Hear Yoko captures the rich complexity of Yoko Ono - woman, artist, activist, wife and mother - from her days with John Lennon through the present, with intimate portraits by the legendary rock-and-roll photographer Bob Gruen, and words by Ono herself, edited from conversations with Jody Denberg, rock radio's "Voice of Austin, Texas."
Conceived expressly for Yoko Ono as a gift between friends on the occasion of her eightieth birthday, and published at her personal request, See Hear Yoko is legendary rock-and-roll photographer Bob Gruen's tribute to an icon of contemporary American cultural history, from her days with John Lennon up through the present. Gruen, who served as personal photographer to Lennon and Ono during their years in New York City, has collaborated with his friend, Austin rock radio mainstay Jody Denberg, who edited twenty-five years of interviews with Yoko for the book's text.
In this breathtaking volume, Gruen has selected more than two-hundred classic color and black-and-white photographs that intimately illuminate the life of Yoko Ono at the height of her fame as a woman, wife, mother and avant-garde artist (who keeps creating, she says, because "That's who I am.") Yoko's role as peace activist and artist underscores the enduring legacy of the era of rock-and-roll. See Hear Yoko reveals a modern woman in love, in ascension, in grief, in joy and in peace.
Lavish and beautiful, mirroring the deeply personal design of the original volume given to Yoko herself, See Hear Yoko brings into focus an extraordinary woman and one of the most memorable periods in modern history."
Promotional image by Taschen
"Kishin Shinoyama. John Lennon & Yoko Ono" is a limited art edition publication for collectors published by Taschen.
From the book description: "Renowned for his sensual, provocative images, Kishin Shinoyama is one of Japan's most controversial and acclaimed artists, at once hailed by critics and charged for public indecency.
His capacity for ease and intimacyis perhaps most poignantly expressed in his beautiful series of photographs of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, shot for the cover and promotion of the couple's celebrated 1980 album, Double Fantasy, just three months before Lennon's untimely death. Featuring many previously unseen images, the series resonates with a remarkable honesty, and immortalizes this iconic couple at a pivotal moment in their personal and creative relationship.
Limited Art Edition of 125 copies with a print signed by photographer Kishin Shinoyama. Also available in a second Art Edition (No. 126-250) with an alternative print by Kishin Shinoyama and in a Collector's Edition (No. 251-1,980)."
Promotional image by Genesis Publications
"Yoko Ono Infinite Universe At Dawn" is another very beautiful limited edition collector's art publication published by Genesis Publications.
From the book description: "For all those that Imagine Peace, Yoko Ono Infinite Universe At Dawn celebrates Yoko Ono's seminal art and activism across eight decades.
'Seeds of ideas, like pebbles, were raining through my life. Genesis Publications has captured those seeds and presented them to you here, for your observation, selection and experimentation, to make their destination entirely yours.' - Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono Infinite Universe At Dawn encourages the reader to have an experience of connection and reminds us that, together, we have the power to change the world. Yoko Ono is signing every book in her limited edition of just 1,500 copies worldwide."
More Yoko Ono related publications
Yoko Ono with the Mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson. Photo © Sari Gurney
finally, the iceland events report from october 2014 is online!
I am sorry it took so long because of my illness, but here it is now and I hope you will enjoy it. Lots of photos and the second video will be added asap to the same page!
"All we are saying, is give peace a chance!"