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Price Realized: $13,750 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2451 Lot 273
ONO, YOKO. Grapefruit. Printed typewriter text in English and Japanese. 140x140 mm; 5 1/2x5 1/2 inches. Small, thick perfect bound 8vo, publisher's plain white wrappers with title printed in black, covers lightly finger soiled, 2-inch clean tear on rear cover emanating from spine and four short minor creases, short tears along top edge; title-page/colophon loose. Tokyo (and Bellport, New York): Wunternaum Press, 1964
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000
one of 500 copies. the first edition of yoko ono's scarce "event score" signed, dated, and inscribed by her with a haiku by japanese poet basho, titled Summer Grasses ("Ah! Summer grasses! All that remains Of the warriors' dreams" [translation]).
Often considered a Fluxus work, Grapefruit (so named as Ono thought its hybrid of an orange and lemon mirrored her self-identity as a spiritual hybrid) has become a monument of conceptual art. These "event scores" were intended to replace a physical work of art with written instructions or suggestions for acts that the person experiencing them could create. "Pulse Piece" for example, suggests "Listen to eachother's pulse by putting your ear on the other's stomach. 1963 Winter." This genre of performance art was developed by students in John Cage's Experimental Music Composition classes at New York City's New School for Social Research, one of whom was Ono's first husband, Ichiyanagi Toshi, who, with Ono, became close with Cage.
The book is divided into five sections titled Music, Painting, Event, Poetry and Object; later editions added Film and Dance. The instructions are preceded by dedications to contemporary figures of arts and letters including Cage, Anthony Cox, George Maciunas, La Monte Young, Nam June Paik, Isamu Noguchi and Peggy Guggenheim, and also includes documentation relating to Ono's recent exhibitions and performances.Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $13,750