Yoko Ono: An Artful Life

Sutherland House. Apr. 2022. 350p. ISBN 9781989555583. $29.95. MUSIC
In Brackett’s (Tumult!: The Incredible Life of Tina Turner) biography of artist Yoko Ono, one of the most interesting insights he shares is how many of Ono’s present-day fans, followers, and remixers are only vaguely aware—if at all—that she used to be notorious for having broken up the Beatles. But “used to be” is the appropriate phrasing, as discoverers of Ono’s work are more likely these days to come to it via a club remix of her music, an art museum retrospective (like the 2015 MoMA exhibition Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971), or even Twitter. Art and music critic Brackett is well suited to his subject. His discussions of Ono’s musical, visual, and conceptual art and their philosophical, aesthetic, and cultural foundations are the most intriguing parts of the book. Of course, there’s no avoiding Ono’s tragically abbreviated relationship with John Lennon, and Brackett doesn’t try. Rather, he situates it within the continuum of Ono’s life, presenting the relationship as a creative as well as romantic partnership.
VERDICT An affecting and affectionate portrait. For artists, historians of 20th-century art, Yoko Ono fans, and Beatles fans too.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing