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John Lennon: Drawings, Performances, Films

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”In presenting the artistic oeuvre of John Lennon,” Wulf Herzogenrath writes in the fussy introduction to the collection John Lennon: Drawings, Performances, Films, ”we wish to leave aside his role as an internationally acclaimed musician.” Good luck! Lennon’s art, quirky as it is, wouldn’t invite a second look if it weren’t for his megastar status. The drawings range from the naive to the downright indecipherable (is that a pot holder the one-breasted, partially dismembered Yoko is holding between her legs?). It’s hard to imagine that Lennon intended them as the ”creative masterpieces” these editors want them to be. His writings and peacenik performances of the late ’60s hold sociological value but haven’t aged well. Isn’t having been in a band that was, as Lennon put it, more popular than Jesus enough for one genius? B-