Yoko Ono, Conceptual Art Star

March 3, 2018 | Jen McB

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Everyone is super excited about the new AGO exhibit featuring renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. There is a rush on tickets, and I myself may not even get in. But I know a secret to viewing art. It is called patience. Never go to anything opening day. That is asking to be overheated, crowded, bored by a lineup and this is all before you factor in the Instagram moments or selfie culture we now live in. Being in public means taking up space with your camera too.  

Yoko Ono  collector of skies

Dear John Lennon fans, this post is not for you. This post is for the likes of me and my kind. The conceptually trained artists mostly coming out of the University of Toronto in this city. The thinkers and the over thinkers. Sit down music lovers, we will not discuss the vocal recordings of one wife of a famous Beatle tragically gone too soon. This post is for the Guerilla Girls who have very choice words to say to young female artists about peaking in your eighties.  

Yoko Ono  one woman show

 Yoko Ono is 85 and she is "rocking" the art scene. Ono's  new exhibit "The Riverbed" is featured at the Gardiner Museum counter to the AGO featuring Yayoi Kusama and runs until late June. I am gleeful at this prospect. Maybe I do not manage to finagle tickets to "Infinity Mirrors", but certainly I can get into the Gardiner Museum. Certainly I can convince those of you out there in your disappointment that seeing a Yoko Ono exhibit is just as special. Yoko Ono is comparable to art star Marina Abramovic as a female performance artist. Yoko Ono has continually exhibited in major galleries across the globe. I am sitting here wondering if the AGO is perhaps wistful of the Gardiner's scoop of a caliber artist that can only raise this young museum's profile.  

Yoko Ono

The major theme of Yoko Ono's body of work is "instructions". She will often write some ideas down and present them in a simple way or use "found objects". There is a beauty in this simplicity. The art is the idea and not the materials. Whatever is around will do. Toronto, our instruction is not to be disappointed but to embrace art.