Best Show (2002)


Before the privileged daughter of an aristocratic Japanese family crossed paths with a working-class lad from Liverpool, she was an artist who put the "avant" in avant-garde. Loosely associated with the Fluxus movement, Yoko Ono made works ranging from socially and artistically provocative performances like Cut Piece (1964), which invited members of the audience to snip off bits of her clothes, to the poetry of Ceiling Painting (Y E S Painting), the same work that introduced Lennon to Ono at her 1966 Indica Gallery opening when he climbed a white ladder and used a magnifying glass to view the simple word "yes" written on the ceiling. "YES YOKO ONO," a retrospective at the Contemporary Arts Museum, presented a fascinating range of Ono's work, ripe for reassessment. Through her art rather than media hype and distortion, emerged the portrait of a talented artist of tremendous intellect and quiet wit.


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