review: ‘John Lennon: The Collected Artwork’


While Lennon will always be more remembered for his music than his output as a visual artist, the work contained in this book gives us a different view of him as a person and an artist.

"Before Lennon was a Beatle he had attended the Liverpool Art School. Although he was unable to complete his studies as his music career took off, he continued to sketch and draw for the rest of his life as time allowed." (

'John Lennon: The Collected Artwork' is a new book by Scott Gutterman, published by Bantam Press with a foreword by Yoko Ono. 

From the cover: "Throughout the course of his career, John Lennon’s work as an artist expressed common societal themes from every epoch he witnessed. Until now, little of this work has been seen in one place. For the first time, John Lennon: The Collected Artwork offers a visually captivating history of Lennon’s art, including more than 200 images and featuring 25 never-before-published pieces from the archives of Yoko Ono." have written a fairly extensive review of the book.

"John Lennon: The Collected Artwork is a beautifully packaged and presented book. The reproductions of his art are as good as those you’d see in any collection of this kind and the accompanying text does a good job of explaining their history and background. Lennon will always be best known as a musician, but this collection of his artwork provides a fascinating look into a different facet of an intelligent, opinionated and original mind. That alone makes it worth owning. (...)

"In his text for the book Scott Gutterman not only makes an effort to put the illustrations into a historical context in terms of Lennon’s life, but also points out how they reflect the way he looked at the world. While the first of the book’s seven sections offers paintings and sketches from Lennon’s early years, the chapters are not in chronological order. Instead, they have been arranged to give us a sense of who Lennon was as visual artist, and what he attempted to accomplish with his work." ( -

You can read the whole piece, here, and see more of John's artwork, here




A must-own for music and art fans alike.


A new book compiles touching, unornamented artwork from the icon's life outside of music. Its sketches are minimalist, emotional, funny and charming.

Rolling Stone

A beautiful illustration of an amazing life.

Sunday Mirror

There is a rude and revealing energy to his art. As Yoko Ono writes in her introduction, John 'always brought fresh air' to any medium he was working on.

The Telegraph

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