Yayoi Kusama — Born 1929, Matsumoto, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Represented by OTA Fine Arts, Tokyo/Shanghai/Singapore; Victoria Miro Gallery, London/Venice; and David Zwirner, London/Paris/New York/ Hong Kong.
Yayoi Kusama's life is a poignant testament to the healing power of art as well as a study in human resilience. Plagued by mental illness as a child, and thoroughly abused by her mother, the artist persevered by using her hallucinations and personal obsessions as fodder for prolific artistic output in various disciplines. This has informed a lifelong commitment to creativity at all costs despite the artist's birth into a traditional, female-effacing Japanese culture and her career's coming of age in the male dominated New York art scene.
When Kusama began to see hallucinations as a child, her way of coping with the bizarre phenomena was to paint what she saw. She says that art became her way to express her mental disease. This most notably is seen in her Infinity Net paintings based on repetitive patterns and her installations in which she creates elaborate environments overrun with polka dots or tiny points of light. For Kusama, making art became an essential survival mechanism. It was her sole tool for making sense of a world in which she dwelt on the periphery of normative experience. Today, Kusama reigns as one of the most unique and famous contemporary female artists, operating from her self-imposed home in a mental hospital.
Kusama began her artistic education at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts., where she studied Nihonga, a style of traditional Japanese painting from the Meiji period (1868–1912). Following solo exhibitions in Japan during her early artistic career, Kusama moved to New York in 1958, inspired by the rise of Abstract Expressionism in the US. She represented Japan in 1993 at the 45th Venice Biennale. Kusama’s work has been the subject of large-scale solo presentations and retrospectives across the world’s most famous institutions and museums. A museum dedicated to the artist’s work opened in Tokyo in 2017. A major solo exhibition of the artist’s work will open at the Gropius Bau, Berlin, in 2021, and later travel to the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Fondation Beyeler, Basel. Also in 2021, the New York Botanical Garden will present Yayoi Kusama: Cosmic Nature.
Bad Girls 2021 - Featured Work
Infinity Nets, 2001
acrylic on canvas
38 x 45.5 cm - 15 x 17.9 inches
Not for sale.
Courtesy of the Bhansali Collection.