YAYOI KUSAMA (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama is widely considered one of the most important living artists today and a landmark figure in the history of female artists and feminist art. Born in 1929 in Matsumoto City, Japan, Kusama received her formal arts education at Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts before moving to New York in 1958. In New York, Kusama ingratiated herself in the avant-garde art and counter-culture communities in the city. She first established herself as an artist in New York by staging a series of politically provocative happenings in the heart of New York City’s financial district. At the same time, Kusama was developing her signature infinity net paintings, in which she painted tiny arcs repetitiously on a solid background. The works’ obsessive, hallucinatory quality and dot motif resurface again and again in her artmaking. In the decades since Kusama arrived in New York City, she has produced highly influential work that spans painting, performance, room-size installations, large outdoor sculpture, fashion, design, poetry, and fiction.
Her work gained widespread recognition in the late 1980s following a number of international solo exhibitions, including shows at the Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England, which both took place in 1989. She represented Japan in 1993 at the 45th Venice Biennale to much critical acclaim. More recent major surveys of her work took place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2000); National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2004); and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2008). Her work was the subject of a large-scale and well-received retrospective, which traveled from 2011 to 2012 to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. From 2012 through 2015. Kusama’s work is represented in permanent collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; amongst numerous others. Kusama lives and works in Tokyo.