Before Yoko Ono became inextricably linked with John Lennon—and disparaged as the woman who "broke up" The Beatles—she was an artist, with a career stretching back to the early 1960s. Ono was a conceptual and performance artist, a sincere absurdist influenced by Duchamp and the Fluxus movement. But her delicately minimal aesthetic owed just as much to her Japanese background. This survey—which mostly covers the years leading up to her pop-cultural celebrity—is the first of its kind, and is anchored by her odd, previous association with MoMA: An unofficial show she mounted for herself at the museum in 1971. It consisted primarily of a sign at the entrance, informing the public that she had released flies around the museum. Ono never stopped making her work, which in recent years has been re-introduced to art-world audiences, but his exhibition puts her efforts into historical context.
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