Yoko Ono (Japanese, b.1933) is a musician, composer, and multimedia artist, most active in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. After Ono''s family moved from Tokyo to Scarsdale, NY in the early 1950s, she enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College. In 1955, she eloped with the composer Toshi Ichiyanagi and moved to Manhattan, where she joined circles and communities of avant-garde artists.
In the 1960s, Ono became one of the original members of the artist group Fluxus. She hosted performance pieces for fellow artists at her downtown apartment, and had solo performances and exhibitions of her own work at the Carnegie Recital Hall and the AG Gallery. In 1962, Ono returned to Tokyo, where she presented solo shows and concerts at the Sogetsu Art Center. She married American art promoter Tony Cox in 1963.
In 1964, Ono debuted Cut Piece, a performance in which she invited audience members to join her onstage and to cut off her clothing piece by piece. The performance is considered an early example of the burgeoning Feminist Art movement, and often described as one of Ono's most significant works. Many of Ono's most notable works are Conceptual and require the participation of viewers or audience members.
In 1966, Ono moved to London, where she met John Lennon at an exhibition of her work at the Indica Gallery. Their meeting marked the start of what would become a famous relationship, one that was both personal and professional due to their many artistic collaborations. Ono and Lennon were perhaps best known for their performance pieces, such as Bed-Ins (1969). When they invited the press into their honeymoon suite in March of 1969, they used the opportunity to discuss world peace while wearing their pajamas. The couple continued to work together on a variety of artistic projects until Lennon's death in 1980. Ono continues to exhibit her work today; her art has been displayed in many institutions, including the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Japan Society in New York.