New Internationalist

Yoko Ono

June 2001

Yoko Ono is a deeply playful, deadly serious artist. Made world famous by association with John Lennon, she is comparatively little known for her art. Yet long before the Lennon days, Ono was a key figure in the New York avant-garde. Today her work remains, fresh, modern and surprising, as Yes – Yoko Ono (Abrams ISBN 0-8109 4587 8) surely testifies. In Zen Buddhism consciousness equals ‘creativity in every moment’ – and Ono is constantly inviting us to participate imaginatively or physically in the work of art. This makes a Yoko Ono exhibition a special, sometimes whimsical, experience – one of her works, The Wishing Tree, invites us to tie our own wishes on to its branches. If you can catch her at a museum near you, then this book plus music CD will heighten the experience. If you can’t, well, it’s a worthwhile alternative. The text is lucid, locating Ono within her times and cultures, paying due attention to her political commitment, and, yes, her positivity too. It’s a hefty tome, with 350 large folio pages and 287 illustrations.

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Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 335 This column was published in the June 2001 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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