Ay-O

Biography

Ay-O (b. 1931 in Namegata, Japan), born Takao Iijima, is a Japanese avant-garde visual and performance artist who has been associated with Fluxus since the 1960s. Ay-O was an active member of the Demokrato Artists Association (1953–1957), an avant-garde group of artists and critics who propagated freedom of artistic expression. In 1958, Ay-O moved to New York, where he began engaging in Pop Art and, in 1961, became involved with Fluxus through Yoko Ono. He began collaborating with George Maciunas, Emmett Williams, and Nam June Paik, developing his interactive objects and immersive environments. Beyond his activities as a member of the avant-garde, Ay-O is best known for his vibrant oil paintings and colorful rainbow-patterned prints. In most of these works, Ay-O combines bands of color with figurative motifs from traditional Japanese art; in their purest form, however, several paintings are composed solely of simple stripes of color gradations. Ay-O represented Japan at the 1966 Biennale di Venezia and the 1971 Bienal de São Paulo, where he received the Brazil Bank Prize. He has had international retrospectives at the Fukui Fine Arts Museum and the Tsukuba Museum of Art, as well as a travelling exhibition for major Japanese museums. His works can be found in The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, and the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art among others.

Artworks (10)