Yayoi Kusama with latest paintings at Tokyo 2011, Musashi University, Tokyo. Collection Yayoi Kusama.
Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery New York
Source: Whitney Museum of American Art
Legendary, semi-reclusive, and still vibrant, Kusama, who turned 83 in March, has created an extensive body of work since the 1940s. Ranging from her earliest explorations in painting to new works made in the past few years, this survey—the artist’s first major exhibition in New York in fifteen years—celebrates a career of exceptional duration and distinction, tracing the development of Kusama into one of the most respected and influential artists of her time.
Yayoi Kusama’s art encompasses an astonishing array of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. It ranges from works on paper featuring semi-abstract imagery, to soft sculptures known as "Accumulations", to her "Infinity Net" paintings, made up of carefully repeated arcs of paint built up into large patterns, to the dense patterns of polka dots for which she is perhaps best known. Like her near contemporaries Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, and Nancy Spero, Kusama’s work has gained over time the recognition it deserves, following periods in which her work was received with acclaim and other periods in which she was almost completely overlooked.
The exhibition unfolds chronologically, in a sequence of rooms, each devoted to the emergence of a new artistic phase. Much of Kusama’s art has an almost hallucinatory intensity that reflects her unique vision of the world, whether through obsessively recurring imagery, a teeming accumulation of detail, or the dense patterns of nets and polka dots that have become her signature.
This exhibition is curated by Frances Morris, Head of Collections, International Art, Tate, with Rachel Taylor, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition has been organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.