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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Yoko Ono

b. 1933, Japan

Yoko Ono is an American-Japanese artist, musician, poet, and social activist. Her early works over the 60’s and 70’s were associated with Fluxus, a loosely designated group of interdisciplinary, avant-garde artists taking inspiration from Dada, Ono’s seminal works were defined by the ‘event score’ - a succinct set of instructions that comprised of mental and/or physical actions and tasks that the viewer must execute for the artwork to be fully realised. In her 1963 work Cloud Piece, Ono presents no canvas or space, rather she asks the viewer to imagine digging a hole in the garden, then placing clouds in the hole. This two-step format of instruction, then realisation and the role of the audience and the individual soundly places her intent in the realm of the conceptual, experiential and collaborative.

Ono addresses gender, class, identity, and peace throughout her work that can often take a rather bold, transgressive tone as seen in Ono’s 1964 performance work Cut Piece, which invited the audience to cut pieces of clothing from Ono’s body as she sat quiet and complicit on stage. An observation of the 'neutral' relationship between art and the viewer, Ono seeks to challenge the notion of the female figure as an object in art.

Further strengthening their fundamental conceptual structure, Ono’s works also have a rather metaphysical quality to them. In her work Hide-and-Seek Piece, from her 1963 book of instructions Grapefruit, Ono asks the reader to 'Hide until everybody goes home, Hide until everybody forgets you, Hide until everybody dies'. These stark, rather authoritative commands indicate that this is no simple, innocent task, rather they force the viewer to contemplate an incomprehensible scope of time for which there are no solid answers, and reveal previously unconsidered questions.

Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1933, Ono moved between Japan and the United States in the 1930’s and 1940’s, eventually settling in the U.S. after WWII. Alongside creating music, films, and books, many of which were done closely with John Lennon, Ono has exhibited at various museums and galleries, such as the Sogetsu Art Centre, Tokyo, 1964; and the Everson Museum, New York, 1971, as well as through major retrospectives at the Whitney Museum, New York, 1989; Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, 2008; Serpentine Galleries, London, 2012; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, 2013; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015. She has also been the recipient of many awards, including the lifetime achievement award from the Japan Society of New York, 2005; the Golden Lion Award from the Venice Biennale, 2009; and the Oskar Kokoschka Prize in 2012.

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Featured Artworks

Disappearing Piece by Yoko Ono contemporary artwork Yoko OnoDisappearing Piece, 1965/1988 Bronze
3.2 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
Cleaning Piece by Yoko Ono contemporary artwork Yoko OnoCleaning Piece, 1966/1988 Bronze
15.9 x 38.1 x 25.4 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Yoko Ono, THE RIVERBED at Galerie Lelong & Co. New York, New York
Closed
11 December 2015–28 January 2016 Yoko Ono THE RIVERBED Galerie Lelong & Co. New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

One belt, one road, one  biennale: Yinchuan's stand against cultural desertification Ocula Report One belt, one road, one biennale: Yinchuan's stand against cultural desertification 1 Nov 2016 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

Over 70 artists from 33 countries are represented in the inaugural Yinchuan Biennale, which opened amidst scandal on 9 September 2016. Not included is a work by Ai Weiwei, who was invited to take part alongside other art stars Yoko Ono and Anish Kapoor before being disinvited just weeks before the opening.In a tweet, Ai connects the...

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In Related Press

View All (16)
United Kingdom’s oldest arts centre celebrates 300th birthday with works by Yoko Ono, Jeremy Deller and other alumni Related Press United Kingdom’s oldest arts centre celebrates 300th birthday with works by Yoko Ono, Jeremy Deller and other alumni The Art Newspaper : 8 February 2017

The Bluecoat in Liverpool, the UK's oldest arts centre, has launched its year-long 300th anniversary celebration with a show dedicated to artist alumni including John Akomfrah, Jeremy Deller and Yoko Ono. Public View (until 23 April) features works by more than 100 artists who have previously exhibited at the venue, which first opened in 1717 as a...

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Klaus Biesenbach recalls the founding of KW in Berlin 25 years ago, a moment of 'radical change and freedom' Related Press Klaus Biesenbach recalls the founding of KW in Berlin 25 years ago, a moment of 'radical change and freedom' ARTnews : 29 November 2016

In late November 1989 I came to Berlin. I had spent the summer in New York, staying with a friend who at the time was the editor of an international magazine. On her cable TV and in the many different newspapers she had at her home on the Upper West Side, I had seen and read about an autumn full of demonstrations in East Germany, embassies taken...

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'SHE': International women artists at Shanghai Long Museum West Bund Related Press 'SHE': International women artists at Shanghai Long Museum West Bund Art Radar Journal : 26 September 2016

Launched at the end of July 2016, SHE: International Women Artists Exhibition at Shanghai Long Museum West Bund presents a collection of works by female artists that are, according to curator Wang Wei, 'gathered together not only by their gender, but also by the true creativity'.Exhibitions of women’s art have been hesitant...

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Public art by Björk, JR, and Yoko Ono comes to Moscow Related Press Public art by Björk, JR, and Yoko Ono comes to Moscow The Creators Project : 24 September 2016

Most New Yorkers think of Times Square as a barren consumerist wasteland, but one incredible thing does happen there: by turning creators loose on the world’s most famous intersection, Times Square Arts turns it into a gigantic public platform for contemporary performance and visual arts. It’s one of the highest-profile public arts...

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