Secret legacy: Genesis Publications presents a vast Yoko Ono monograph

Secret legacy: Genesis Publications presents a vast Yoko Ono monograph
Genesis Publication's Infinite Universe at Dawn is a vast, detailed monograph on the work of Yoko Ono – an artist who has never shirked from the utopian potential of art
(Image credit: press)

Yoko Ono has never shirked from the utopian potential of art. The octogenarian artist has been a vital force in conceptual art since her very first works in the late 1950s and 60s, although her subsequent trajectory into global celebrity overshadowed the importance and legacy of her work. In the decades that followed, she brought conceptual art to new audiences – an occasionally difficult path for an artist whose carefully considered approach has always prized the ephemeral, transient role of ideas and dreams.

Infinite Universe at Dawn (opens in new tab) brings together a vast array of archival material spanning Ono's entire career; 1,500 copies will bear her signature too, as limited editions of the tome. Prepared and assembled by the artist together with Genesis Publications, the slip-cased 400-page volume includes lyrics, essays, interviews and statements, backed up with extensive unseen photographs and 45 tipped-in pieces of artwork and reproductions. It's impossible to separate Ono's oeuvre from her public image, although the sheer longevity of her career and quiet dedication and consistency has gone a long way to diluting the casual and insidious misogyny she has faced since her marriage to John Lennon in 1969.

The book is a celebration of Ono's considerable influence on the artistic landscape, presenting a body of work that not only spans a vast array of genres – from music to photography, poetry, installations, publications, activism and sculptures – but also draws a straight line from the 1960s to the modern era, a time of massive social and political upheaval. If nothing else, Ono's work offers an occasionally grubby mirror to society's collective cynicism. At a time when the utopian dreams of the counter-culture have never felt more vital or more distant, Infinite Universe is a refreshingly optimistic salve.

Acorn Event, by Yoko Ono and John Lennon, 1968.

Ono has been a vital force in conceptual art since her very first works in the late 1950s and 60s, although her subsequent trajectory into global celebrity overshadowed the importance and legacy of her work. Pictured: Acorn Event, by Yoko Ono and John Lennon, 1968., copyright Yoko Ono

(Image credit: Keith McMillan)

Balance Piece, by Yoko Ono, 2010.

This slip-cased 400-page volume includes lyrics, essays, interviews and statements, backed up with extensive unseen photographs and 45 tipped-in pieces of artwork and reproductions. Pictured: Balance Piece, by Yoko Ono, 2010.  courtesy Yoko Ono

(Image credit: Marco Delogu)

Bed-In for Peace, by Yoko Ono and John Lennon, 1969.

The sheer longevity and consistency of Ono's career has gone a long way to diluting the casual and insidious misogyny she has faced since her marriage to John Lennon in 1969. Pictured: Bed-In for Peace, by Yoko Ono and John Lennon, 1969

(Image credit: Yoko Ono)

magine, by Yoko Ono, 1971 (playing Yoko’s artwork White Chess Set, 1966)

The book is a celebration of Ono's considerable influence on the artistic landscape, presenting a body of work that not only spans a vast array of genres... Pictured: Imagine, by Yoko Ono, 1971 (playing Yoko’s artwork White Chess Set, 1966).

(Image credit: Yoko Ono)

Air Dispenser, by Yoko Ono, 1971 and Apple, by Yoko Ono, 1966.

... But it also draws a straight line from the 1960s to the modern era, a time of massive social and political upheaval. Pictured left: Air Dispenser, by Yoko Ono, 1971. copyright Yoko Ono. Pictured right: Apple, by Yoko Ono, 1966. copyright Yoko Ono

(Image credit: Iain Macmillan, Oded Lobl)

an example of the book's tipped-in imagery

Ono's work offers an occasionally grubby mirror to society's collective cynicism. Pictured: an example of the book's tipped-in imagery

(Image credit: press)

Infinite Universe is a refreshingly optimistic salve

At a time when the utopian dreams of the counter-culture have never felt more vital or more distant, Infinite Universe is a refreshingly optimistic salve

(Image credit: press)

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.