Spread across two gallery spaces, Yoko Ono’s THE RIVERBED demonstrates the possibility and presence of basic human connection through the manipulation of various materials. Together, the assemblages of stone, string, and ceramic create a process of healing through, as the artist says,”love, and creativity.” This concept of mending is both internal and external, as string criss-crosses the space of each gallery, continued through pencil and paper on the sketchbooks provided.
Along the floor of each space, a pile of stones spreads as viewers pick up various river rocks in contemplation, while the work of an adjoining room centers around a table covered in shards of broken mugs. The viewer is encouraged to piece together these shattered ceramics using the glue, tape, and string provided, with reconstructed cups displayed on the shelves lining the walls of the room, representing the small steps toward a collected effort to mend the world, originating from a work she created following the tragic events of 9/11.
Continuing the artist’s trend of participatory art, each piece is accompanied by an imperative. Each of the works featured in THE RIVERBED is one of Ono’s instruction pieces, a technique the artist has been using since the 1960s, and which feature haiku-like words of guidance. Though the three pieces on view are mirrored across Andrea Rosen Gallery and Galerie Lelong, the active engagement required on the part of the viewer allows the works to evolve differently and dynamically in their required spaces. As a result, the differences and similarities that arise between the two parts of the exhibition make both presentations of the work intrinsic to the piece’s significance overall. This unique growth represents the experience of catharsis that the viewer undergoes, charting the creation of a community among strangers.
— M. Donovan
Yoko Ono, The Riverbed, Andrea Rosen Gallery [Exhibition Site]
Yoko Ono, The Riverbed, Galerie Lelong [Exhibition Site]
Press Release [Exhibition Site]
“Two Galleries Share Yoko Ono Show, and a Hometown Return to New York [News Source]
“New York- Yoko Ono- One Woman Show 1961-1970 at MOMA” [News Source]