John Lennon is primarily known for being a member of the Beatles and one of the 20th century’s most influential and beloved musicians. But he also produced a significant body of visual art that his wife, Yoko Ono, has brought to public attention in the years since his untimely death. Lennon’s pen-and-ink works on paper, which depict family, sex, and music, are playful, illustrative, and almost always personal. His “Bag One Portfolio,” a group of line drawings that he made for Ono as a wedding gift, is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York. His wife has noted that his rock-and-roll stardom excluded him from the art world and its trends, allowing his sketches to maintain a kind of aesthetic purity.
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