Yayoi Kusama (Japan, Japan) is an avant-garde Japanese artist. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, soft sculpture, performance art, and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition, and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced, and exhibited alongside, her contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and George Segal.
In 1957, she moved to the United States, settling in New York City, where she produced a series of paintings influenced by abstract expressionism. Switching to sculpture and installation as her primary media, Kusama became a fixture of the New York avant-garde during the early 1960s when she became associated with the pop-art movement. Kusama came to public attention when she organized a series of happenings in which naked participants were painted with brightly colored polka dots and exhibited works such as her “Infinity Nets”, hallucinatory paintings of loops and dots (and physical representations of the idea of infinity). Narcissus Garden, an installation of hundreds of mirrored balls, earned Kusama notoriety at the 1966 Venice Biennale, where she attempted to sell the individual spheres to passersby.
Since her return to Japan in the 1970s, Kusama's work has continued to appeal to the imagination and the senses, including dizzying walk-in installations, public sculptures, and the "Dots Obsessions" paintings.
In 2012 Louis Vuitton unveiled a collaboration between the brand and Kusama, her dotty artwork populated handbags, clothes and accessories echoing her message of obsession and seriality. To coincide with the launch of the collection, stores across the globe were transformed. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art (in 1998), the Whitney Museum and the Tate Modern (in 2012), and the Hirshhorn Museum (2017). In 2006, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art. Kusama's work is in the collections of leading museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
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