Yoko Ono & John Lennon Artists Activists

Yoko Ono and John Lennon met in an art gallery. Being artists together was a central feature of their relationship. They were both influenced by Conceptual Art, Fluxus Art and Performance Art movement of the 1960’s. Peace Activism became their cause. 


yoko ono cutpieceYoko Ono, Cut Piece Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, (1965)

Yoko sat alone on a stage, dressed in her best suit, with a pair of scissors in front of her. The audience had been instructed that they could take turns approaching her and use the scissors to cut off a small piece of her clothing, which was theirs to keep. Some people approached hesitantly, cutting a small square of fabric from her sleeve or the hem of her skirt. Others came boldly, snipping away the front of her blouse or the straps of her bra. Ono remained motionless and expressionless throughout, until, at her discretion, the performance ended.

John Lennon – You Are Here, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, UK (1968)

  • A large white canvas circle (approx 10 ft diameter) with ‘you are here’ written in the centre in John’s handwriting.
  • On a white pedestal – A jar full of ‘you are here’ badges to take away
  • On a white pedestal – A white busker’s fedora hat with ‘FOR THE ARTIST. THANK YOU.’ written on it in pen, with loose change inside
  • A hidden camera, filming people’s reaction to the artworks
  • A grouping of (approximately 12) Charity collection boxes (as a diversion)
  • 365 White Balloons, with tags, given to visitors, many launched by John on the day.
  • A bike from students at Hornsey Art College
  • John’s shoes with a note saying “I take my shoes off to you”

Yoko Ono Indica Gallery London 1966

Group Show: Guildford Minus 40, Institute of Watercolour Painters Gallery, Piccadilly, London, UK (Nov 1968)

  • Fold Nine Times


Lennon particularly liked Yoko’s Ceiling Painting. The work appeared to be a blank canvas flat on the ceiling with just one word written on it in tiny letters. Lennon climbed a step-ladder, and balancing at the top, peered through his little round glasses, and through a larger round magnifying glass that was hanging on a chain next to the canvas, to look at the word.

John said, “I went up the ladder and I got the spyglass and there was tiny writing there. . . and you look through and it just says ‘YES’.”

Concert: Alchemical Wedding, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK (Dec 1968)

  • Bag Event


John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Bed-In Event, Amsterdam, Holland (1969)

  • Two person event for Peace


John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Acorn Event, Worldwide (1969)

  • 2 x Acorns in engraved plastic container
  • Letter to foreign dignitary

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Bed-In Event, Montreal, Canada (1969)

  • Two person event for Peace

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – ‘An Evening with John & Yoko’, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (1969)

  • Bag Event
  • Showing of films whilst hidden cameras filmed the audience reaction
  • Films shown: Self Portrait, Rape, Mr & Mrs. Lennon’s Honeymoon, Two Virgins, Smile.
  • Audience Participation Pack includes: wooden spoon & sandwich tin (noise makers) signed by John and Yoko, ‘Love and Peace’ flyer, Ono ‘Danger Box’ / Lennon ‘Build Around it’ perspex case, Lennon ‘fold it nine times’ paper sheet (creased where folded), New Cinema Club booklet, ‘Love and Peace = Bagism’ postcard of John & Yoko in Paris, John Lennon Diary, ‘You are Here’ booklet, two promo photographs, ‘Rape’ flyer, 8-page promo booklet, single sheet programme schedule.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – War Is Over Billboard Event, Worldwide (1969)

  • Billboards with the inscription “WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT Happy Christmas from John & Yoko” were placed in 11 cities worldwide: New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, along with leaflets, posters, newspaper advertisements and radio announcements.
war is over Piccadilly

John Lennon Exhibition of 15 Lithographs and white vinyl zippered portfolio bag were exhibited at:

Album of lithographs
  1. London Arts Gallery, London, UK (1970)
  2. London Arts Gallery, Detroit, Michigan, USA (1970)
  3. The Upstairs Gallery, Long Beach, California, USA (1970)
  4. The Cory Galleries, San Francisco, California, USA (1970)
  5. The Poster Palace, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1970)
  6. Galerie Taveerne, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1970)
  7. Galerie Podulke NV, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1970)
  8. Milan, Italy (1970)
  9. The Merrill Chase Gallery, Oak Brook, Illinois, USA (1970)
  10. The Graphic Art Galleries Ltd., Los Angeles, California, USA (1970)
  11. Galerie Denise René Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf, Germany (1970)
  12. Lee Nordness Gallery, New York, New York, USA (1970)

Group Show: FluxFest Presents John & Yoko +, Tribeca, NY, USA (1970)

  • Over 9 weeks at Joe Jones ‘Tone Deaf Music Store’, 18 N Moore St., NYC
  • Opening. Come as John Lennon or Yoko Ono; Grapefruit FluxBanquet.
  • Do It Yourself, by John & Yoko + All
  • Two Eggs
  • Tickets by John Lennon & FluxTours
  • Measure by John and Yoko + HiRed Clinic
  • Blue Room by John + Yoko and FluxLiars
  • Needle
  • 4 Spoons
  • Weight & Water by John + Yoko + FluxFaucet
  • Capsule by John & Yoko + FluxSpacemen
  • Portrait of John Lennon as a Young Cloud by Yoko and everybody
  • The Store by John and Yoko + FluxFactory
  • A collection of New York ticket machines.
  • Exam by John & Yoko & FluxSchool

Group Show: 3→∞, aka 3 (towards infinity), Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (1970)

  • Sleeve for Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1968, Offset litho, 12 x 12 inches, not limited. Price: £2 with record, £1.95 without.
  • Build Around It, 1969, plastic, 2 x 2 inches, not limited. Price: £1.
  • You Are Here, 1969, screen on plastic button, 1 x 1 inches, not limited. Price: 5p.
  • Acorn Piece, 1969, (a) by John Lennon, (b) by Yoko Ono; Acorns 1 inch diameter approx, widely available in season. Price: stamped addressed envelopepe

Group Show: Ozjets d’Art, Clytie Jessop Gallery, London, UK (1971)

  • Number 9 Open/Shut

Group Show: Art Spectrum, Alexandra Palace (1971)

  • For Those Who Do Not Want To Touch J.L ’68 (dispenser of plastic gloves)


John Lennon & Yoko Ono – This Is Not Here, Everson Museum, NY, USA (1971)

  • Needle
  • Reclining Nude
  • Baby Grand Guitar for Yoko ’69
  • 4 Spoons
  • This window is 5ft wide
  • This sphere is a part of a straight line
  • Get out when the room turns blue
  • You are here
  • Kinetoscope
  • Pinball Machines
  • Metal Slug Dispenser
  • Juke Box

Yoko Ono – Free Time (1971)

  • Performance art pieces by Yoko Ono, performed by Yoko Ono, John Lennon & Jonas Mekas. Excerpts from ‘The Grapefruit In The World Of Park’, Question Piece, Fly, Draw Circle, Bagism, Sweep Piece, Promise Piece, Wrapping Piece.


you are here john lennonGroup Show: Spike Milligan’s Invisible Animals, Tyron Gallery, London, UK (1971)

  • Artwork by John Lennon


John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Declaration of Nutopia, NY, USA (1973)

John and Yoko in their NYC Apartment 1972. Bag One Police Raid Lennon Art Show poster Evening Standard 1971
John and Yoko in their NYC Apartment at The Dakota Building. note: POLICE RAID LENNON ART SHOW
  • Two person event to Surrender to Peace and protest John’s Deportation Order

Group Show: 13th Annual New York Avant Garde Festival At World Trade Center, New York, NY, USA (1977)

  • Ono and Lennon’s skywriting Wish Poem (listed in program)

Skywriting By Word Of Mouth

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – ‘A love letter from John and Yoko to People Who Ask Us What When and Why’ (1979)

  • Full-page ad in New York Times and Los Angeles Times
Scroll to Top