Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Eight: One of a Kind

Tonight we're going to look at three artists whose talent and ambition go far beyond any classification.


Yoko Ono is one of the most important and most radical of the conceptual artists.

Since she felt that the concept was the most important aspect of a work of art, she might use any art form to realize her idea.

The bulk of Yoko's output has been experimental music. Her music is unconventional, but respected in certain quarters, and over the years she has had some major hits.

She has also produced many ground-breaking concept films. 

She is particularly well-known for producing "happenings," live events featuring some sort of surprising performance.

Some of her works are art installations featuring symbolic objects, such as might be shown in a gallery or museum.

Yoko was born and educated in Japan, but she has spent the majority of her adult life in New York, so she is sometimes considered Japanese-American.

Yoko collaborated with rock star John Lennon on several musical projects and happenings. 

Yoko and John were married in 1969; their marriage was notoriously tumultuous, highly publicized, and contentious. Yoko was reviled for breaking up the Beatles, but John's interest in conceptual art shows that he was moving beyond pop music anyway. 

Since John's murder in 1980, Yoko has preserved and promoted his legacy, but she has also resumed making music and maintains an active presence at peace events and on social media.

Note: Don't forget video



Niki de Saint Phalle was an artist whose huge talent manifested itself in just about every art form: sculpture, painting, performance art, conceptual art, and sculpture gardens.

Her most significant work was sculptures—from a small size for galleries to a huge size that can be entered and explored—and environments that showcase sculpture.

Her art was unified by an overwhelming desire to express women's values and to defy the standards of patriarchal society. Niki invented new forms, new processes, and new themes for art.

Since the male-dominated contemporary art world loved high seriousness, subtle conceptualism and formal use of color, Niki created art that was exuberant, cheerful, over-the-top, fantastical, superstitious, wildly colorful…and irresistible.

Niki was born in France, but raised in the U.S. As an adult, she lived in France and Italy, but she retired to Escondido, California.

Niki collaborated with Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely on many projects. They were lovers for awhile, and eventually married, but they mostly lived separately because Niki was so obsessed with making art.




Judy Chicago was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and she still retains that position in the 21st century.

Judy defined and promoted Feminist art, and asserted the value of women's bodies and women's point of view. Her designs were based on female sex organs, and she forced the art world to accept this imagery by the power of her work.

Judy innovated the idea of collaborative art, raising the old tradition of quilting bees to the level of fine art production. She created projects in which she employed many crafts people, while maintaining her identity as creator of the whole.

She promoted women's crafts—such as embroidery, ceramics, and tapestry—which had been considered unworthy of notice by the art world.

She originated Feminist Art Education. She devised a curriculum centered around women's achievements in the arts, and developed a program for college students in California.

Judy was a growth-oriented person who eventually came to feel that her original approach to Feminism was wrong because she assumed that all women were friends and all men were enemies. She came to see that some men were feminists, whether or not they used the term, and some women disrespected and undervalued themselves and other women. 

Note: Don't forget video


Conclude with a review.






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