Monday, February 18, 2019

Yoko Ono | Grapefruit

Yoko Ono
Tokyo, Japan: Wuntemaum Press, 1964
[upaginated], 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.2 cm., softcover
Edition of 500

One of the seminal works of Conceptual Art, Grapefruit was originally intended as a Fluxus edition (one of George Maciunas' many planned "Complete works of...") but with Ono in Japan and Maciunas in Germany at the time, the artist self-published under the name Wuntemaum Press.

This first edition includes more than 150 instructional scores, organized under the (seemingly arbitrary) headings of Music, Painting, Event, Poetry and Object. Approximately one third of the book is translated into the artists' native Japanese. Many of the works are dedicated: to John Cage, La Monte Young, Maciunas, Nam June Paik, Peggy Guggenheim, and Isamu Noguchi.

Six years later Simon and Schuster produced an expanded trade edition (with a very brief introduction by John Lennon). Other versions and translations have been issued by Peter Owen Ltd, Sphere, Touchstone, Verlag Bärmeier & Nike, Ediciones de la Flor, Kodansha, Piccola Biblioteca Oscar Mondadori, etc.

The title is readily available today, and MoMA published a facsimile of the original a couple of years ago. The above copies list for between $15 000 and $35 000 US, depending on signature, association and condition.

Yoko Ono turns 86 years old today.

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