Yoko Ono “The Riverbed” at Andrea Rosen Gallery
Yoko Ono, the Japanese artist and creative sixties icon, isn’t slowing down any time soon. At 82, she keeps an active Instagram account and most recently produced a two-gallery exhibition in New York, called “The Riverbed.” I have to admit that I stumbled across this show by accident, which made discovering it all the better!
The first room features many stones on the floor, perhaps waiting to be held, as instructed by Ono, “until all your anger and sadness have been let go.” Nearby, there are soft black cushions for sitting, and low white tables for drawing and writing with provided pencils and paper. The table is low enough to the ground that an adult or child alike could use them.
Moving into the back room, the walls are lined with white shelves. On each shelf lie multiple broken cups and plates that have been shoddily repaired using glue, tape, rope and other materials. It’s clear these repaired items have come from the central table, where 10 or so gallery goers have assembled. On the table were heaps of pieces of broken cups and plates, and the supplies needed to put the tableware back together.
Illy provided espresso in the corner, complete with barista service, and cups from Ono’s “Mended Cups” series.
It seems the exhibit was indeed participatory because when I visited the gallery again in January, the first room had numerous long, thin strings of rope from wall to wall, obstructing the visitor’s path.
Andrea Rosen Gallery
525 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011