Yoko Ono’s new London exhibition has attracted a rather lukewarm response from art critics. Titled ‘To the Light,’ the exhibit at London’s Serpentine Gallery includes piles of dirt, an all-white chessboard, a see-through maze, and footage of naked buttocks in mid-stroll.
‘To the Light’ is part of a 40-year retrospective on Ono’s career, yet much of the criticism suggests Ono’s art has not aged well.
The Metro‘s Fisun Güner dismisses much of her work as “fey, flaky or just one-dimensional,” adding that “many of these works feel bland and dated.” The Guardian‘s Adrian Searle is similarly unimpressed, noting:
“The harder she tries to be meaningful, the easier it is to resist. The bronze shoes, mangled coathanger and keepsake box in A Family Album, all drooling and spattered with painted blood, are obvious and trite.”
In fact, even the name of the show is receiving digs, with Searle writing:
“The show is called Yoko Ono: To the Light. Those who have suffered near-death experiences often complain of a bright light – and a voice telling them to go towards it. This is a mistake.”
However, there is praise for ‘Cut Piece’ (1964), in which a young Ono sits passively on a stage as members of the audience cut fragments of her clothing. “With its suggestion of sexual violence and vulnerability, it’s still a powerful piece today,” says Güner.
Ono’s exhibit runs at London’s Serpentine Gallery from June 19 – September 9, 2012.