MARCH 10-JUNE 17, 2001
Y E S YOKO ONO
Exhibition
GALLERY A



   

"LET EVERYBODY IN THE CITY THINK OF THE WORD "YES" AT THE SAME TIME FOR 30 SECONDS. DO IT OFTEN. "
--YOKO ONO, EXCERPT FROM "LET'S PIECE I" (SPRING 1960)

Yoko Ono's diverse career as an artist, poet, performer, and composer might be summarized in the single word "YES"--an open-ended affirmation that suggests the optimistic and inviting messages contained in her work. The word itself has appeared in many of her compositions and objects, from the 1960 score "Let's Piece I" (excerpted above) to the renowned Ceiling Painting (YES Painting). The latter is a sculptural work in which viewers climb a ladder to read a tiny, unimposing "yes," almost like a whisper, printed on a canvas suspended from the ceiling. John Lennon and Ono met at the London gallery where Ceiling Painting (YES Painting) debuted. He later remarked: "It's a great relief when you get up the ladder and look through the spyglass and it doesn't say no . . . it says YES." That note of hope, as well as its interactive aspect, have been leitmotifs in Ono's work since the 1950s that continue to inform it today.

Image
Yoko Ono
APPLE
©2001 Yoko Ono


Y E S YOKO ONO presents more than 150 works created during the past 40 years that explore these and other themes. Organized by Japan Society, New York, the exhibition is Ono's first American retrospective since 1971. The Walker's presentation is the first stop on the show's international tour and will allow visitors to explore the full range of her achievement--from her early experiments with music and performance to her well-known films and sculptures to her more recent installations, interactive objects, and drawings.

Image
photo: Iain MacMillan
YOKO ONO
©2001 Yoko Ono

Ono was born in Japan in 1933 and has been a resident of New York since the 1950s. Since the beginning of her prolific career, she has consistently been a pioneer in developing new art forms, moving freely beyond and between genres, from avant-garde to Pop. Her profoundly social art aims to involve the viewer as an active participant and to break down long-standing distinctions between art and everyday life. Along with her interest in chance and understatement, these characteristics have allowed her work to play a key role in the transmission of Asian thought to the international art world.

During the 1960s Ono was a key participant in many of the innovations of the New York, Tokyo, and London vanguards, including Fluxus, Conceptual Art, and the underground film and performance scenes. When she married Lennon in 1969, the couple made use of the media coverage surrounding their honeymoon to campaign for world peace, a theme that suffused many of the collaborative pieces they later created. Ono's work of the 1990s has addressed themes of change, survival, and time: relinquishing her status as an icon of nostalgia, she has attempted with new material to reinvent herself.

Image
Yoko Ono
CLEANING PIECE (riverbed)
MORNING BEAMS
(behind)
©2001 Yoko Ono

Divided into five chronological and thematic sections, the exhibition begins with works on paper and printed matter produced during the early 1960s. Central are Ono's Instruction Paintings, a set of written directions for "paintings to be constructed in your head." These conceptual works are among the first examples of pure language standing in for the material of art. Another section features her early sculptural works made of common, found materials. Highlights include the installation Half-A-Room (1967), a mock studio apartment in which everything--from the teapot to the armchair--has been cut in half. The exhibition also offers a rare look at her work in film and performance. Several films, including Fly (1970) and the infamous No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966), will be screened continuously in the galleries. A 1965 performance of Ono's now iconic event Cut Piece, in which she invited audience members to cut away her clothing with a pair of scissors, will be shown on video. Finally, the exhibition will present a selection of films, photographs, and objects that examine her work as a peace activist (including her collaborations with John Lennon) and a sampling of her objects, drawings, videos, and installations made during the 1990s.

Throughout her career and across media, Ono has always invited the viewer to participate in completing her works. She has compared her own process of making art to writing a musical score for others to perform. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to add their wishes, written on tags, to Wish Tree (1996/2000). They can also play a game at her all-white chess set, Play It By Trust (1997), and navigate the plexiglass labyrinth AMAZE (1971/2001).



IN THE WALKER ART CENTER SHOP

Y E S YOKO ONO

This richly illustrated, 352-page catalogue features essays on Ono's life and career by eight international scholars and critics. The most extensive survey yet published on the artist, each book also includes a CD--not available elsewhere--with three new songs by Ono. Hardcover: $60 ($54 Walker members); softcover: $45 ($40.50).


GRAPEFRUIT: A BOOK OF INSTRUCTIONS AND DRAWINGS BY YOKO ONO

Simon and Schuster, 2000. Hardcover: $15 ($13.50 Walker members).




RELATED EVENTS

FREE TOURS
Y E S YOKO ONO
SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2001, 1 PM
SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2001, 2 PM
Join the Walker Art Center's knowledgeable tour guides for a lively, engaging, and informative tour of the exhibition.


MAY EVENTS

FREE TOURS
Y E S YOKO ONO
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2001, 1 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2001, 6 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2001, 2 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2001, 6 PM
Join the Walker Art Center's knowledgeable tour guides for a lively, engaging, and informative tour of the exhibition.

FREE THURSDAY LECTURE
A MADNESS SHARED BY TWO: THE COLLABORATIVE WORK OF YOKO ONO AND JOHN LENNON

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2001, 7 PM
Diane Mullin, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, explores the history and practice of artistic collaboration, with a focus on the variety of creative and social projects conceived by Yoko Ono and John Lennon.


SUNDAY FUN
OUT OF THE ORDINARY: A HAPPENING WITH TEA

SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2001, 1-2:30 PM
$8 ($4 WALKER MEMBERS)
Join us for a Fluxus-style happening this Mother's Day. You'll begin in the exhibition Y E S YOKO ONO by following curious directions to find wondrous objects. In the Art Lab, mix and sip tea as you create extraordinary works of art and a set of unusual instructions. Led by artist Ilene Krug Mojsilov.


WORLD PREMIERE
JOAN JEANRENAUD: METAMORPHOSIS

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2001, 8 PM
$14 ($7 WALKER MEMBERS)
After 20 years with the seminal Kronos Quartet, cellist Joan Jeanrenaud embarks on a new journey, collaborating with composers, designers, videomakers, and visual artists to push the boundaries of the concert experience. The Walker presents the world premiere of Metamorphosis, an evening-length work comprised of five compositions interwoven in sequence.


JOAN JEANRENAUD: ICE CELLO

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2001, 12 NOON-4 PM
FREE WITH GALLERY ADMISSION
Over the course of several hours, Jeanrenaud "plays" a unique cello made entirely of ice, while sound artist Stephen Vitiello manipulates and amplifies the tones produced as it melts.


ON THE WEB
SONICFLUX: YOKO ONO
WWW.WALKERART.ORG/PA/SONICFLUX/ONO/

The third installment of the Walker's SonicFlux series explores artistic ideas through acoustic interactive environments. Taking a cue from her early Fluxus scores, this site explores Ono's work in audience participation as it translates to the online medium.




APRIL EVENTS


FREE TOURS
Y E S YOKO ONO
SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2001, 2 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2001, 6 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2001, 2 PM
Join the Walker Art Center's knowledgeable tour guides for a lively, engaging, and informative tour of the exhibition.

FREE FIRST SATURDAY
SPRING INTO FUN

SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2001, 11 AM-4 PM
Celebrate spring during this artful, musical day for families. Explore the exhibition Y E S YOKO ONO on a gallery tour, feel the rhythms of Spanish songs at a flamenco performance, and check out some playful and poetic springtime films. All activities are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.


MACK LECTURE
KIM GORDON

SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2001, 2 PM
$12 ($6 WALKER MEMBERS)
Join visual artist-musician Kim Gordon as she discusses the films and performance art of Yoko Ono.


CLASS: COMPLEAT SCHOLAR
WAITING FOR YOKO

WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 11, 18, AND 25, 6:30-8:30 PM
$78 ($70.20 WALKER MEMBERS AND SENIORS)
This course focuses on Ono's relationship to conceptual, performance, and video art, including her involvement with the Fluxus movement and the interpretation of her work relative to other women artists of her generation. Offered as part of the University of Minnesota's Compleat Scholar Program.


FREE PERFORMANCE: CUT PIECE
THURSDAY, APRIL 12 2001, 7 PM
Performance artist Lisa D'Amour will perform one of Yoko Ono's most famous and controversial pieces, in which audience members are invited to cut away pieces of her clothing with a pair of scissors.


MARCH EVENTS

WALKER AFTER HOURS/EXHIBITION PREVIEW PARTY

FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 9 PM-12 MIDNIGHT
$14 ($7 WALKER MEMBERS)
Celebrate the exhibition opening with an evening of live music, films, and Fluxus-inspired Art Lab activities. The Martini of the Month: In Flux.


AN AFTERNOON WITH YOKO
SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2 PM
$20 ($10 WALKER MEMBERS) SOLD OUT
Join Yoko Ono for an afternoon of conversation and music as she discusses ideas that animate her work.

THE FILMS OF YOKO ONO
SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 7 PM
$6 ($4 WALKER MEMBERS)
Presented as part of the Women with Vision film and video festival, this program offers a very rare screening of several of Ono's films.
Museum of Modern Art Show. 1971, U.S., 16mm, 7 minutes.
Freedom. 1970, U.S., 16mm, 1 minute.
Two Virgins. 1968, U.S., 16mm, 19 minutes.
Up Your Legs Forever. 1970, U.S., 16mm, 70 minutes.

GALLERY TALK

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 6:30 PM
FREE


PUBLIC TOURS

SATURDAYS, MARCH 24 AND 31; SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2 PM
FREE WITH GALLERY ADMISSION
Join a Walker tour guide for an in-depth look at the exhibition.





Y E S YOKO ONO IS ORGANIZED BY JAPAN SOCIETY, NEW YORK, AND CURATED BY ALEXANDRA MUNROE, DIRECTOR, JAPAN SOCIETY GALLERY, IN CONSULTATION WITH FLUXUS SCHOLAR JON HENDRICKS.

THE EXHIBITION IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY MAJOR SUPPORT FROM NTT DoCoMo, INC.

ASSISTANCE FROM APPLE COMPUTER, INC.; EMI RECORDED MUSIC, EMI RECORDS LTD. AND CAPITOL RECORDS, INC.; EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING; AND SIGNATURES NETWORK, INC. IS GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGED. GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS; THE E. RHODES AND LEONA B. CARPENTER FOUNDATION; THE DAVID GEFFEN FOUNDATION; AND MARILYN AND JEFFREY KATZENBERG HAS ALSO MADE THIS EXHIBITION POSSIBLE. THE TOUR OF Y E S YOKO ONO IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, WASHINGTON, D.C., A FEDERAL AGENCY.

THE MINNEAPOLIS PRESENTATION OF Y E S YOKO ONO IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM SAM GOODY AND THE E. RHODES AND LEONA B. CARPENTER FOUNDATION.