John Lennon met Yoko Ono
Art on This Day
On this day in 1966 John Lennon met Yoko Ono for the first time at an avante-garde art exposition at Indica Gallery in London.
Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist who became known worldwide in the 1960s when she married Beatles front man John Lennon. It is said that the two were introduced by gallery owner John Dunbar, although Lennon was initially unimpressed by Ono’s work and Ono was unaware who Lennon was. Lennon became increasingly intrigued by Ono’s art, particularly Hammer a Nail, in which viewers would hammer nails onto a wooden board which would create the art piece. After this the two became both romantically and creatively linked, and in 2002 Lennon sponsored Ono’s solo show at Lisson Gallery in London.
Cut Piece by Yoko Ono, 1964
Ono’s art often demanded the viewer’s participation and forced them to get involved. One of her most famous works was Cut Piece staged in 1964, when members of the audience were invited to cut off pieces of her clothing until she was naked, an abstract commentary on discarding materialism whilst also exploring issues of gender, class and cultural identity. Ono also worked on a conceptual art book Grapefruit, in which the book detailed instructions which led to the creation of an art work.
Lennon once famously described Ono as “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name but nobody knows what she does”. However, Ono has been at the center of a number of shows. In 1989, the Whitney Museum in New York held a retrospective of her work and more recently she has held exhibitions at The Serpentine Gallery. Ono has also been the recipient of the Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement from the Venice Biennale.
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