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John Lennon once described his wife Yoko Ono, who is turning 91 on Sunday, as “the world’s most famous unknown artist.” Everyone recognizes her name, yet her work remains a mystery to many, he remarked.

From Thursday, Ono’s impact on conceptual art will be on display in a retrospective exhibition at the Tate Modern in London.

The “Music of the Mind” show, which runs until Sept. 1, explores the multi-disciplinary works of a woman more famed for being the murdered Beatle’s wife than a conceptual art icon.

A visitor looks at an interactive artwork entitled
A visitor looks at an interactive artwork entitled “Add Colour (Refugee Boat)” by Yoko Ono, Tate Modern, London, U.K., Feb. 13, 2024. (AFP Photo)

“This exhibition is a true celebration of Yoko as an artist,” one of the exhibition’s curators, Andrew de Brun, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“Indeed, John Lennon was a very important collaborator for her, but we are very happy to be able to showcase her art.”

200 works

Spanning seven decades, the exhibition presents a detailed exploration of Ono’s artistic legacy through 200 pieces, including installations, objects, videos, photographs, sculptures and documents detailing her performances and musical compositions.

“We recognize the importance of Yoko Ono in contemporary art and culture,” de Brun said of the retrospective, which the curators say is the most extensive ever done in Britain about Ono.

“By displaying some of her works, we help to showcase the significant place she occupies. We are pleased to present her work to new generations of visitors … showing her activism, her campaigns for peace,” the curator added.

Since her initial exhibitions in New York during the 1950s, Ono has been a proponent of conceptualism – an art movement that posits the concept or idea behind an artwork is more important than the physical piece.

The exhibition examines some of

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