Over her prolific 40-year career, artist Yoko Ono has had a critical and influential role in originating forms of avant-garde art, music, film and performance. Now, the first American retrospective of her work comes to MIT as part of a national tour organized by the Japan Society in New York City.
"YES Yoko Ono" opens tomorrow (Oct. 18) at the List Visual Arts Center, and Ono will be present at the public opening reception on Friday, Oct. 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Immersing herself in projects ranging from filmmaking to music, from poetry to political activism, Ono played a central role in the Fluxus movement (a loose affiliation of minimalist musicians, visual artists and poets in the 1960s) and made important contributions to conceptual art in New York, London and Tokyo. Her more recent work has included interactive installations, site-specific works, Internet projects, concerts and recordings that have been widely disseminated across Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia.
"YES Yoko Ono" has been remarkably popular, attracting more than 150,000 visitors in Minneapolis, its last stop before MIT. The exhibition features approximately 150 works from the 1960s to the present, with an emphasis on Ono's early period. Included in the show are objects and installations; instruction pieces and scores; film and video; music; public art, including works made with husband John Lennon; and recent installation and site-specific works. She has collaborated with such avant-garde figures as John Cage, George Maciunas, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Andy Warhol and Ornette Coleman, and works from these collaborations are also represented.
A "lecture event" with Ono on Saturday, Oct. 20 is sold out. Gallery talks led by List Center personnel will be held each Wednesday at noon and Sunday at 2 p.m. Group gallery tours are available by appointment. A catalogue with cd-rom is available from the List Center for $45.
In collaboration with the exhibition, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts presents six programs featuring Ono's films from the 1960s through the 1990s. Ono will be present at the MFA for the first screening in the series on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $15. For more information on the film series, call (617) 369-3770.
For more information on the List exhibition, call x3-4680.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 17, 2001.