Yayoi Kusama

Published - 08 May 2020, Friday

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. Wikipedia

Image Credit: Yayoi Kusama Facebook Page

Video Credit: NPR

Please Log In or Join to leave a rating or comment
Comments

Christina George

  • 447 comments
  • CONNOISSEUR
RATED 7 / 8
The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. an immersive environment of light and sound that’s sure to get your mind off things. Set to aural selections chosen curated by The Broad, including drone, electronic, ambient, and pop music, with a score by composer Geneva Skeen, turn off the lights, and immerse yourself in this 14-minute video.

Davidson

  • 589 comments
  • ELITE
RATED 8 / 8
Yayoi Kusama (草間彌生 or 草間弥生, born March 29, 1929) is a Japanese artist. Her paintings, collages, soft sculptures, performance art and environmental installations all share an obsession with repetition, pattern, and accumulation. Her work shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. She describes herself as an "obsessive artist". Kusama is also a published novelist and poet, and has created notable work in film and fashion design. She has long struggled with mental illness.

Born in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Kusama has experienced hallucinations and severe obsessive thoughts since childhood, often of a suicidal nature. She claims that as a small child she suffered severe physical abuse by her mother.

Early in Kusama's career, she began covering surfaces (walls, floors, canvases, and later, household objects and naked assistants) with the polka dots that would become a trademark of her work. The vast fields of polka dots, or "infinity nets," as she called them, were taken directly from her hallucinations.

She left her native country at the age of 27 for New York City, after years of correspondence with Georgia O'Keefe in which she became interested in joining the limelight in the city. During her time in the U.S., she quickly established her reputation as a leader in the avant-garde movement. She organized outlandish happenings in conspicuous spots like Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, often involving nudity and designed to protest the Vietnam War. She was enormously productive, and counted Joseph Cornell and Donald Judd among her friends and supporters, but did not profit financially from her work. She returned to Japan in ill health in 1973.

Yayoi Kusama has exhibited work with Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns. Kusama represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1993, and in 1998 & 1999 a major retrospective exhibition of her work toured the U.S. and Japan. Her organically abstract paintings of one or two colors (the Infinity Netsseries), which she began upon arriving in New York, garnered comparisons to the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman.

Today she lives, by choice, in a mental hospital in Tokyo, where she has continued to produce work since the mid-1970s. Her studio is a short distance from the hospital. "If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago," Kusama is often quoted as saying.

In October 2006, Yayoi Kusama became the first Japanese woman to receive the Praemium Imperiale, one of Japan’s most prestigious prizes for internationally recognized artists.

More News