YES Yoko Ono

Installation view: YES Yoko Ono
Japan Society Gallery, New York, October 18, 2000 – January 14, 2001
Photo: Sheldon Collins © Japan Society, New York

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YES Yoko Ono

Curated by Alexandra Munroe with Jon Hendricks

Japan Society Gallery, New York, 2000

“As well as anyone, Yoko Ono encapsulated an evanescent and shifting moment in art. Fame distorts, and the new show helps set the record straight.”

— Michael Kimmelman, New York Times

YES Yoko Ono, the artist’s first major American retrospective, features approximately 150 works from 1960 to the present, with a focus on Ono’s early period, and includes objects and installations; language-based works such as instruction pieces and scores; film and video; music; and performance art. Offering a comprehensive reevaluation of her work, the exhibition explores Ono’s position within the postwar international avant-garde and her critical and influential role in originating forms of experimental art, music, film, and performance.

The critically acclaimed exhibition toured to 13 museums in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Korea from 2000 through 2003.

Winner: First Prize, Best Museum Show Originating in New York, awarded by the International Art Critics Association (AICA-USA), 2001

Excerpted from Japan Society

October 18, 2000 – January 14, 2001

I believe in doing a work that grows by having people participate in it.
— Ono

Yoko Ono’s art is a mirror-like her work “a Box of Smile,” we see ourselves in our reaction to it—a tiny prod toward personal enlightenment, very Zen.
—Michael Kimmelman, New York Times

Yes Yoko Ono, the first American retrospective of the work of pioneering avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, offered a comprehensive reevaluation of her work. The exhibition explored Ono’s position within the postwar international avant-garde, and her critical and influential role in originating forms of contemporary art, music, film and performance. Featuring approximately 130 works from the 1960s to the present, it presented Ono as a key transmitter of Asian thought to the international art world, through her use of chance and minimalism, and her investigation of everyday life.

Yes Yoko Ono was organized by Japan Society Gallery and curated by Alexandra Munroe, Director, Japan Society Gallery, in consultation with Fluxus scholar Jon Hendricks. Following its New York premiere, the exhibition is traveling through 2003.

A fully illustrated 350-page catalogue, co-published by Japan Society and Harry N. Abrams, included essays by leading scholars from America, Europe and Japan, along with an extensive anthology of Yoko Ono’s writings and a CD of her new music.

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