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Instruction Paintings Hardcover – Box set, October, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
A small segment of people may find appeal in the fact that the Paintings are also contained here in their Japanese forms. But besides the extra Paintings to Be Constructed in Your Head (one of which is also in YES: Yoko Ono), the main selling point is the lovely introductory essay, which will definitely be of interest to diehard fans. Though not very long, Ono discusses not only the critical reception to her original conceptual paintings, but also a little about her marriage to Toshi Ichiyanagi (which I've not seen her discuss elsewhere), the time she spent in a mental institution, and meeting her second husband Tony Cox (though she does not mention him by name).
This is a purchase only for Ono completists. Those looking for an introduction to Ono's work would do well to stick to Grapefruit, and fans looking for more of her work in book form should look for YES: Yoko Ono, Yoko Ono: The Other Rooms, or Yoko Ono: Between the Sky and My Head.
There is also a short piece written by Yoko at the start - telling of her experiences as a much younger Artist, and how she came to be more into her 'conceptual' genre - and why. She tells it with humour and the wonderful philosophy that we have come to know Yoko for - a truly amazing lady!
In the forward Ono writes about her deep disappointment over the reception her patron/viewer as artist received. These so called conceptual paintings are something a child could have done better creating. This is definitely not Ono at her best.
Her works lack the conceptual (viewer as artist) depth of some of her later works. Compared to many others in the Fluxus movement (Joseph Beuys, Mel Bochner, and others), they don't compare well either in depth of concept or in the idea.
Save your money--I'd say save your time, but you can race through the 22 paintings in minutes as they don't really provide you with anything to focus your artistic efforts on that are worthwhile. Buy some of her later books. Her art has matured and the depth lacking in this book is not present in Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono or her latest Yoko Ono: Touch Me.