NY's MoMA explores Yoko Ono's influence through her early art

Tue May 12, 2015 7:43pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Artist Yoko Ono's career has spanned more than five decades and the Museum of Modern Art is celebrating her achievements with an exhibition of her early works showing how her ideas influenced the development of art in New York in the 1960s.

"Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971," which runs from May 17 through Sept. 7, includes about 125 early art pieces, works on paper, films, installations, performances and audio recordings.

It shows how in even 1962 Ono thought of art as pure instruction, paintings that are described rather than realized, which predates conceptual art.

"It's really good to know that everything you do is being recognized by people, everything you do is being understood by people and one day it is going to blossom," Ono, 82, told a press conference following a preview of the show.

The exhibition follows the writer, peace activist and widow of Beatle John Lennon from her days as a 27-year-old organizing artistic events at her New York loft to exhibitions in Tokyo, London and New York.

It concludes with her unsanctioned one-woman show at MoMA in 1971 titled "Museum of Modern (F)art."

Curator Christophe Cherix said the show was designed to let the works speak for themselves, so each could piece could be understood on its own and how it is connected to the others.

"We really tried to understand what were the key contributions in the first decade of her career. We narrowed it down to the pieces which we found most influential, which still resonate in people's minds," he told Reuters.   Continued...

Artist Yoko Ono interacts with the exhibit "Apple" at the Museum of Modern Art exhibition dedicated exclusively to her work, titled "Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971", in New York May 12, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson