Tokyo: Wuntemaum Press (s.p. Ono), 1964
14 x 14cm, unpaginated (c. 220pp) plus card covers. The true first edition of this first ever conceptual artist book content of event scores and short texts evoking instructions and zen-like states, this is one of the most important books of the twentieth century being de facto the first ever conceptual art book. Grapefruit contains over 150 “instruction works”; the majority being in English and with about a third translated into Japanese. The various works are divided into five sections; Music, Painting, Event, Poetry and Object and the instructions are preceded by dedications to figures including John Cage, La Monte Young, Nam June Paik, Isamu Noguchi and Peggy Guggenheim, and also includes documentation relating to Ono’s then recent exhibitions and performances.
Ono only produced 500 copies of this first publication which she mostly gave away to friends and this is one such gifted book with a vintage dedication thus: ““To John, / Yoko Ono / 1966 Spring! New York”. This copy is in very good+ condition – one of the very best we have seen and is housed in a custom made lack quarter morocco solander case; it is an exceptionally well preserved example of this notoriously fragile production. The binding shows only light rubbing and marking to the extremities, the contents are clean, bright and tight throughout.
Exceptionally rare especially with a vintage dedication by the artist.