Infinity Mirrored Room-The Souls of Millions of Light years away, 2013. Wood, metal, mirrors, Plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system and acrylic balls, 287x415x427cm

Finding Love: A Conversation with Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama’s rise to the top ranks of the art world has been hard won. A precocious young artist trained in Nihonga cultural traditions in Matsumoto, Japan, she displayed an original vision. Her imaginative use of oil paint and other materials, and her intuitive grasp of abstraction, led to solo shows in her native town and in Seattle before she was 25. By age 30, she was in New York, working first on a new kind of gestural painting and then on her “accumulations”—furniture, and later fashions, overflowing with sewn muslin protuberances, both phallic and floral. By the late ’60s, nudity and polka dots on people, animals, and objects projected a message of obliteration, though Kusama didn’t exactly spell out what this meant. There are many ways to obliterate something, and perhaps her meaning has changed over the years. Does she see the art world as asking her to give up self, sanity, and the norms of civilization? Or is she obliterating corruption, crime, disease, and repression? Kusama’s work embraces paradoxes while choreographing color and form. She condenses inner and outer moments of despair and joy into works with infinite possibilities. …see the entire article in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.

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