I recently came across an article on YAYOI KUSAMA and I thought what a great artist to bring to you! She is one of the female artists garnering the highest prices for her work! Millions of dollars. I love art like this, as, no, can one say this on the caliber of a Modigliani?
Well, that is an interesting debate. You can compare lots of interesting art and try to make sense. I love art like this because I believe it is more about the artists life and the experiences you need to see. Abstract is hard. Especially if you are used to figural. But this is a recurring theme. I
love it, and I hope you enjoy this post!
She was the first Japanese woman ever to recieve the Praemium Imperiale, one of Japan’s most prestigous awards for international artists.
She has exhibited her work with Andy Warhol, the most iconic pop-art figure, ever.
She protested war.
Yayoi Kusama was a grew up in a world of hallucinations and severe obsessions, comforted (yet at the same time, frightened) only by the endless patterns of the universe:
“One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body and the universe. I felt as if I had begun to self-obliterate, to revolve in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space,
and be reduced to nothingness. As I realized it was actually happening and not just in my imagination, I was frightened…”
Of all of the patterns that show up in her work, dots (infinity nets) overwhelm all others.
“…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm.
Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity.”
By painting people with dots, she feels she gives them innocence, and obliterates their adult status. She associates the dots with endlessness and nothingness – and they are her obsession.
“Since my childhood, I have loved the round image of dots. Over several decades, dots have created, working together with net patterns, various types of paintings, sculptures, events and installations. They have indeed been moving freely about in the heaven of forms and shapes. Dots have taught me the proof of my existence. They scatter proliferating love in the universe and raise my mind to the height of the sky. This mysterious dots obsession. Dots even enter my dreams with art playing a trick on them, art which I love so deeply.” -2006
Yayoi Kusama lives only blocks away from a studio, where she is still producing art at an astonishing rate – Japanese was her second language…
Art was her first.
Yayoi Kusama arrived in New York in 1958 and quickly became known as an artist there. Her work includes sculptures, books, performance art, installations and photo collages. Although Kusama showed with influential artists in New York, she never
achieved long term critical or financial support and returned to Tokyo in the mid-seventies.
Kusama began her career by showing paintings in New York. These “net paintings” were large works with circular repetitive patterns. Her first sculpture (probably 1961) was an armchair covered with stuffed fabric phallic shapes and painted white.
More objects covered with these phalluses followed. Kusama has also covered objects such as suitcases, coats and mannequins with macaroni and paint. Her installations often feature mirrors and polka dotted objects. The installation Narcissus Garden
is comprised of 1500 mirror balls floating in water.
Yayoi Kusama’s mental illness began in childhood when she began hallucinating the dots, nets and flowers which subsequently appear in her paintings and sculptures. Kusama’s most noted work was created between 1958-1968 in New York City.
In 1998, she had a retrospective called Love Forever at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The example here, My Flower Bed (1965-66), is made of painted, covered mattress springs and stuffed gloves. This piece shows her frequent use of repetition and every day objects. The work suggests, as do the sculptures pictured in the background,
a fragmented biomorphism and a lush and out of control blooming.