40 years after Yoko Ono staged a guerrilla “One Woman Show” in its galleries, the Museum of Modern Art New York is showing the first survey of the artist. In 1971, Ono announced that she was having a “one woman show” at the museum. But aside from a small sign that pointed to a performance piece involving flies, the exhibition contained no actual work by Ono aside from the performance, and turned out to be a guerilla stunt by the conceptual artist. Now four decades later, MoMA is honouring the performance artist/painter/musician/peace advocate with her first official solo show at the museum.
The show is called “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971” and will be made up of work from between 1960 and 1971. the exhibition will feature 125 objects, works on paper, installations, performances, sound works, and film. The show will be organised by MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach; MoMA drawings and prints curator Christophe Cherix; and MoMA curatorial assistant for drawings and prints Francesca Wilmott.
This first MoMA survey for Ono will focus on what the museum calls “the decisive decade” – and will culminate in the artist’s unofficial 1971 MoMA debut, which involved Ono releasing flies onto the museum grounds and inviting the public to attempt to track the insects as they moved out of the building and into the New York city.
Also appearing in the show will be rare archival materials. Additionally, the artists signature interactive ‘Bag Piece’ (1964) will be on display along with other interactive works including ‘Painting to Be Stepped On’ (1960/61).
The majority of works on display in the exhibition draw heavily from MoMA’s 2008 acquisition of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, which increased the museum’s Ono holdings substantially, adding approximately 100 of the artist’s works and related ephemera to the museum’s collection. “Yoko Ono: One Women show, 1960-1971,” will run from May 17 to September 7, 2015.