YOKO ONO: MUSIC OF THE MIND ★★★★ Tate Modern | Feb 15 - Sep 1, 2024


Yoko Ono's career as an artist begins in the 1950's, and she still continues to produce innovative and challenging work. This important retrospective brings together over 200 pieces that provide a significant overview of her practice. Her focus is conceptual and participatory, and this show stretches from her first solo exhibition at New York's AG gallery in 1961 to more contemporary pieces like "PEACE is POWER" (2017). Many works address individual experience, and Ono's 'instruction pieces' such as "FLY," "TOUCH" or "Listen to a heartbeat" encourage the visitor to explore their own personal imaginative reality. However, there is also a strong social commitment in many of these creations. There is a marked feminist component to films like "FLY 1970" and "Freedom 1970," and Ono's lifelong commitment to peace is also emphasised. Works like "White Chess Set" where all the pieces are white and the instruction is to 'play as long as you can remember where all your pieces are' bring a playful irony to the dark reality of combat. The iconic film of Ono's Montreal bed-in for peace with John Lennon also highlights her participation in the anti-war movement which has been so central to her mission. The final gallery of the show, "The Personal is Political," brings together these two strands. "My Mommy is Beautiful" is a two-part work inviting viewers to expose and expand their personal experience into a shared expression, and the piece "WHISPER" clarifies that all her work can be read as a 'form of wishing.'

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: Yoko Ono, Half-A-Room, 1967, from HALF-A-WIND SHOW, Lisson Gallery, London, 1967. Photograph © Clay Perry / Artwork © Yoko Ono

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

Your Lie In April – The Musical in Concert ★★★★★ Theatre Royal Drury Lane | April 8 & 9, 2024

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

Naked Boys Singing, The Garden Theatre at The Eagle - ★★★★ - Until October 25, 2020

Police Cops: The Musical ★★★★★ Southwark Playhouse (Elephant) | Mar 1 - Apr 20, 2024

Life with Oscar ★★★ Arcola Theatre | April 2 - 20, 2024

Power of Sail – A Moral Thriller ★★★★ Menier Chocolate Factory | Mar 20 - May 12, 2024

Sister Act – The Musical ★★★★ Dominion Theatre | Mar 15 - Aug 31, 2024

Priscilla The Party! ★★★★ HERE at Outernet | Until September 29, 2024

In Clay ★★★★★ Upstairs at the Gatehouse | Mar 13 - Apr 7, 2024

Opening Night ★★ Gielgud Theatre | Until July 27, 2024

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings