Yoko Ono – Lumière De L’aube
9.03 > 10.07 2016 LYON
MAC Lyon is very pleased to announce the first comprehensive retrospective of the Internationally known artist, Yoko Ono, to take place in France.
Ono is a rare individual, who emerged as an artist, fully formed. From the beginning, working with concepts and ideas, new ways of listening, new ways of making sound. Her education was philosophy, and the extraordinarily difficult times of war and displacement.
She was born in 1933, in Tokyo, and visited the United States when she was 3 or 4, but was forced to return with her family to Japan when the war broke out. During the bombing of Tokyo, she and her brother were forced to move to the countryside, away from the destruction of the city, and it was there that she discovered sky and imagination, creating menus for food in the sky for her brother, and seeing the sky as a peaceful oasis from the hardship that surrounded
her. By 1952, she had written a work titled The Soundless Music, and another, which she illustrated, titled An Invisible Flower. Both of these works use concepts as their foundation. In 1953, Yoko Ono moved to New York to continue her studies, and there wrote A Grapefruit in the World of Park, which became the basis for some of her earliest performance works.
During the winter of 1960-61, Ono developed the idea of her conceptual instruction pieces, realizing some in her Chambers Street loft, and others at the George Maciunas’ AG Gallery.
It was this influence of instructions and participation that became some of the fundamental bases of Maciunas’ formation of Fluxus.
Yoko Ono then developed the idea that
a visual representation of a concept was not necessary, and exhibited her Instructions for Paintings, which consisted only of words written on paper, and hung on the gallery wall. The final step in this process occurred in 1964 with the publication of Grapefruit.
Yoko Ono has created works in many different forms – sound works, film works, participation works, instructions, architecture, installations, and environments. All of these will be reflected and included in the macLYON exhibition with works spanning the period from 1952 to 2016.
Yoko Ono wrote her first Instruction Pieces in the late 1950s.
In 1961, George Maciunas, founder of Fluxus, gave Yoko Ono, her fi rst solo exhibition at the gallery he had just opened. There were only fi ve people present at the exhibition opening, but they included John Cage. For this exhibition, Yoko Ono presented her instructions in the
form of paintings: Painting for the Wind, Shadow Painting, Painting to Be Walked On…
The instruction is a kind of written score, which allows a work to take on multiple forms: there is the text, written by the artist, and then there is its realization, which can be effected by any one of us with many resulting interpretations. For Yoko Ono ‘the instruction brings the concept of time into painting […] and breaks with the excessive solemnity of an original’. The artwork does not require a museum or gallery space in order to exist, it can exist anywhere.
From that date on, along with a few other artists, musicians, filmmakers, and choreographers, Yoko Ono made an important contribution towards redefining and considerably broadening the art of our time. She is a musician, a visual artist, one of the inventors of performance art, a video artist, and a peace activist.