Yoko Ono

artist name

Yoko Ono, born in Tokyo, 1933, moved with her family to New York in the mid-1950s. In 1960 she rented a loft in Chambers Street. Between December 1960 and January 1962 La Monte Young and Ono organised a series of events there, with contributions by La Monte Young, Terry Jennings, Henry Flynt, Joseph Byrd, Jackson Mac Low, Richard Maxfield, Simone and Robert Morris, Dennis Lindberg, Philip Corner and Toshi Ichiyanagi (Ono’s first husband).

This series was, together with the manifestations at George Maciunas’ AG Gallery (1961) ‘most obviously seminal’ (Peter Frank) to the creation of the Fluxus movement.

Ono was a part of Fluxus from the beginning and participated in many of the activities. She performed her pieces in the U.S.A. as well as in Europe and Japan.

One of her best known performance pieces is Cut Piece, in which she sat on a chair and asked the audience to come up onto the stage, one by one, to cut a portion of her clothing, anywhere they liked, and take it.

Together with her second husband, Anthony Cox, she gave performances of her Bag Piece, in which one or two people get inside a large black bag, take off all their clothes, carry out activities, including possibly taking a nap, and get out.

A reconstruction of her Painting to be stepped on (1960) was made for the Centraal Fluxus Festival, organised with Willem de Ridder, in November 2003. It was to be laid on the floor and those who wanted could step on it.

Many of Ono’s concepts and instructions for music, paintings, events and film were compiled in her anthology Grapefruit, first published in 1964.