Grapefruit. YOKO ONO.


"Grapefruit is one of the monuments of conceptual art of the early 1960's. Yoko has a lyrical, poetic dimension that sets her apart from the other conceptual artists." -David Bourdon, as quoted in The New York Times, 2/5/1989

EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION of Yoko Ono's highly influential conceptual art book, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY YOKO ONO on the front free endpaper: "To Claire / Yoko / 1965, Summer". One of only 500 copies, published by Ono's own imprint, Wunternaum Press, in Tokyo.

"Somewhere between Zen poetry and a series of instructions for living, Grapefruit is literature as conceptual art, a sheaf of 'event scores' that suggest how to turn daily life into something more engaged... Perhaps the best-known effort in the collection is 'Cloud Piece,' originally composed in 1963, which reads, in its entirety: Imagine the clouds dripping. / Dig a hole in your garden to /put them in. It appeared on the back cover of Lennon’s 1971 album 'Imagine' and is said to have inspired the title track…

"I’ve loved Grapefruit from the moment I laid eyes on it, loved its sense of whimsy, its sense of play. The instructions range from the inspirational ('A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality') to the prosaic ('Step in all the puddles in the city') to the surreal… What all this has to offer is a way of thinking, of being conscious in the world. The universe is a place of wonder, Ono means to tell us, but we must remind ourselves to look. This is the key to creativity, to being present, which Grapefruit insists, begins with every one of us" (David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, 2/8/13).

"Yoko hooked John's support for her artwork with a copy of her book Grapefruit, which she sent to him the following spring; he may have likened the instructionals therein as similar to Timothy Leary's. With a £5000 contribution, he finally sponsored her 'Yoko Plus Me' show--a.k.a 'Half a Wind Show,' where the entire contents of an all-white bedroom were displayed neatly cut in half--at the Lisson Gallery, October 9--November 14, 1967. Thus began a collaboration that in the coming year would change his life and have great significant for the Beatles" (Walter Everett, The Beatles as Musicians).

Small square quarto (5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in), original perfect-bound paper wrappers. Soiling to wrappers (as always), upper joint split at bottom and possibly later adhesive added to upper joint (presumably to prevent the first few leaves from separating - a common problem with this book). Housed in a custom box by noted book artist Sjoerd Hofstra. SCARCE, especially signed.

Price: $18,000 .

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