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Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-03-22 - Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love documents the artist's most recent exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, which marked the US debut of The Obliteration Room, an all-white, domestic interior that viewers are invited to cover with dot stickers of various sizes and colors. Widely recognized as one of the most popular artists in the world, Yayoi Kusama has shaped her own narrative of postwar and contemporary art. Minimalism and Pop art, abstraction and conceptualism coincide in her practice, which spans painting, sculpture, performance, room-sized and outdoor installation, the written word, films, fashion, design, and architectural interventions. Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Yayoi Kusama briefly studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York City in the late 1950s. In the mid-1960s, she established herself in New York as an important avant-garde artist by staging groundbreaking happenings, events, and exhibitions. Now in her late 80s, Kusama is entering one of the richest creative periods of her life. Immersed in her studio six days a week, Kusama has spoken of her renewed dedication to creating art over the past years: “[N]ew ideas come welling up every day….Now I am more keenly aware of the time that remains and more in awe of the vast scope of art.” Taking The Obliteration Room as its centerpiece, this catalogue reveals, in vivid large-scale plates, the transformation of the space from a clean white interior to a stunningly saturated room, with ceilings, walls, and furniture covered in myriad multicolored stickers put there by viewers over the course of the exhibition. The catalogue also includes beautiful reproductions of Kusama's new large-format paintings from My Eternal Soul series. Ranging from bright and densely pixelated forms, to umber figures with darker blues and muted oranges, these paintings demonstrate the artist's striking command of color, and her exceptional control over balance and contrast. Bold brushstrokes hover between figuration and abstraction; vibrant, animated, and intense, these paintings introduce their own powerful pictorial logic, at once contemporary and universal. The catalogue continues with a selection of new, large Pumpkin sculptures, a form that Kusama has been exploring since her studies in Japan in the 1950s, and which gained prominence in the 1980s, continuing to remain an essential part of her practice. Made of shiny stainless steel and featuring painted dots or dot-shaped perforations that recall The Obliteration Room, these immersive works seem created on human scale, with the tallest measuring 70 inches (178 cm). Vibrant plates capture how color, shape, size, and surface merge in these sculptures and mesmerize the viewer. Texts include a "Hymn to Yayoi Kusama" by art critic and poet Akira Tatehata and a poem by the artist herself.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-09-05 - Publisher: Tate Enterprises Ltd
I am deeply terrified by the obsessions crawling over my body, whether they come from within me or from outside. I fluctuate between feelings of reality and unreality. I, myself, delight in my obsessions.'Yayoi Kusama is one of the most significant contemporary artists at work today. This engaging autobiography tells the story of her life and extraordinary career in her own words, revealing her as a fascinating figure and maverick artist who channels her obsessive neuroses into an art that transcends cultural barriers. Kusama describes the decade she spent in New York, first as a poverty stricken artist and later as the doyenne of an alternative counter-cultural scene. She provides a frank and touching account of her relationships with key art-world figures, including Georgia O'Keeffe, Donald Judd and the reclusive Joseph Cornell, with whom Kusama forged a close bond. In candid terms she describes her childhood and the first appearance of the obsessive visions that have haunted her throughout her life. Returning to Japan in the early 1970s, Kusama checked herself into a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo where she resides to the present day, emerging to dedicate herself with seemingly endless vigour to her art and her writing. This remarkable autobiography provides a powerful insight into a unique artistic mind, haunted by fears and phobias yet determined to maintain her position at the forefront of the artistic avant-garde. In addition to her artwork, Yayoi Kusama is the author of numerous volumes of poetry and fiction, including The Hustler's Grotto of Christopher Street, Manhattan Suicide Addict and Violet Obsession.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-10-05 - Publisher: MIT Press
A study of Kusama's era-defining work, a “sublime, miraculous field of phalluses,” against the background of abstraction, eroticism, sexuality, and softness. Almost a half-century after Yayoi Kusama debuted her landmark installation Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli's Field (1965) in New York, the work remains challenging and unclassifiable. Shifting between the Pop-like and the Surreal, the Minimal and the metaphorical, the figurative and the abstract, the psychotic and the erotic, with references to “free love” and psychedelia, it seemed to embody all that the 1960s was about, while at the same time denying the prevailing aesthetics of its time. The installation itself was a room lined with mirrored panels and carpeted with several hundred brightly polka-dotted soft fabric protrusions into which the visitor was completely absorbed. Kusama simply called it “a sublime, miraculous field of phalluses.” A precursor of performance-based feminist art practice, media pranksterism, and “Occupy” movements, Kusama (born in 1929) was once as well known as her admirers—Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, and Joseph Cornell. In this first monograph on an epoch-defining work, Jo Applin looks at the installation in detail and places it in the context of subsequent art practice and theory as well as Kusama's own (as she called it) “obsessional art.” Applin also discusses Kusama's relationship to her contemporaries, particularly those working with environments, abstract-erotic sculpture, and mirrors, and those grappling with such issues as abstraction, eroticism, sexuality, and softness. The work of Lee Lozano, Claes Oldenburg, Louise Bourgeois, and Eva Hesse is seen anew when considered in relation to Yayoi Kusama's.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-09-25 - Publisher: David Zwirner Books
In a unique style that is both sensory and utopian, Yayoi Kusama’s work possesses a highly personal character, yet one that has connected profoundly with large audiences around the globe. Throughout her career she has been able to break down traditional barriers between work, artist, and spectator. Kusama’s work—which spans paintings, performances, room-size presentations, sculptural installations, literary works, films, fashion, design, and interventions within existing architectural structures—has transcended some of the most important art movements of the second half of the twentieth century, including pop art and minimalism. Conveying extraordinary vitality and passion, her work seems to encompass an autobiographic, even confessional dimension. As stated by Roberta Smith in The New York Times, “These paintings form a great big infinity room of their own, but one in which each part is also an autonomous work of art, its own piece of wobbly, handwrought infinity. You may not want to know these paintings Ms. Kusama has made, but in the moment their vitality is infectious. It is the vitality of an artist who lives to work, whose work keeps her alive.” Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life documents the artist’s exhibition at David Zwirner’s Chelsea location in New York in late 2017, featuring a selection of paintings from her iconic My Eternal Soul series, new large-scale flower sculptures, a polka-dotted environment, and two Infinity Mirror Rooms. The monograph includes new scholarship on the artist by Jenni Sorkin, as well as a special foldout poster.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-06-30 - Publisher: National Gallery Singapore
Accompanying the first major survey of Yayoi Kusama’s work in Southeast Asia, this catalogue explores the captivating work of one of the world’s most influential artist. It features essays by curators from National Gallery Singapore and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, a biographical timeline, and beautifully reproduced images of her paintings, sculptures, collage, performances, video works and installations.
Growing up in the mountains of Japan, Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) dreamed of becoming an artist. One day, she had a vision in which the world and everything in it--the plants, the people, the sky--were covered in polka dots. She began to cover her paintings, drawings, sculptures, and even her body with dots. As she grew up, she traveled all around the world, from Tokyo to Seattle, New York to Venice, and brought her dots with her. Different people saw these dots in different ways--some thought they were tiny, like cells, and others imagined them enormous, like planets. Every year, Kusama sees more of the world, covering it with dots and offering people a way to experience it the way she does. Written by Sarah Suzuki, a curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and featuring reproductions of Kusama's instantly recognizable artworks, this colorful book tells the story of an artist whose work will not be complete until her dots cover the world, from here to infinity.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-02-14 - Publisher: Vertical Inc
Japanese painter, sculptor, writer, installation and performance artist Yayoi Kusama has been in the vanguard of contemporary art for sixty years. Best known for her use of patterns of dots (which she claims evolved from the hallucinations she’s had since childhood), Kusama, now 84 years old, is finally getting the international recognition she deserves. Hi, Konnichiwa brings together Kusama’s vivid imagery and haunting words with photos of the artist at work and at various stages in her life. The pieces are mostly from recent years (2000-2012), although there are some that go back as far as the 1950s. Here are Kusama’s large-scale canvases, environmental sculptures, multi-media installations, and numerous self-portraits. Here, too, are photos of the artist at ten years old, and as a young woman in Tokyo and then New York, often wearing outrageous clothes of her own design. And we see Yayoi Kusama in recent years, working in her studio in Tokyo – minus the garish make-up and red wig. The book is a chronicle of her creative endeavors and of her life, offering a glimpse into the fevered imagination of this very complicated and fascinating woman. Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929 in Japan, and from an early age, suffered from hallucinations, which she maintains inspired the visual language she continues to use today. At art school in Kyoto, she first began to experiment with the subversive themes that became her trademark. After leaving school, Kusama had a period of intense productivity, and by 1955, was gaining prominence as an artist in Japan. In 1958, Yayoi Kusama moved to New York, where she was one of the pioneers of the Pop Art and performance art movements. She became a darling of the media, promoting free sex and anti-war activism. She started Kusama Fashion Company, which was quite successful -- her clothes sold in hundreds of stores including Bloomingdales By the 1970s, the earlier energy and excitement of the New York art scene had subsided. In 1973, Kusama went back to Japan, and in 1977, took up residence in a psychiatric hospital, where she still lives. She built a large studio nearby and continues to work there. While she certainly didn’t fade into obscurity, Yayoi Kusama moved out of the spotlight. The last few years, however, have seen renewed interest in her work. In 2008, Christie’s sold a painting for $5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist. A major retrospective opened at the Whitney Museum in New York in Summer 2013; and at the same she Kusama collaborated with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton collection featuring her polka dots. Kusama recently signed with a new gallery in New York, and a solo show is planned for Fall 2013.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-03-25 - Publisher: Prestel Publishing
This career-spanning, multi-faceted retrospective will appeal to new as well as lifelong fans of the legendary Japanese artist. Yayoi Kusama has worked tirelessly since the 1950s, influencing some of the world's most prominent artists, and pioneering the art of self-promotion. But widespread popular acclaim for her work is a relatively recent phenomenon, with crowds lining up for hours to experience her "Infinity Rooms," and a new museum dedicated to her work opening in Tokyo. This companion volume to a groundbreaking new Kusama retrospective examines her work from myriad aspects, many of which are provocative and wholly original. The book pays particular focus to the years Kusama spent in the US and Europe, tracing her development through early paintings and accumulative sculptures to her hugely popular immersive environments. It examines Kusama's genius for personal branding, and illuminates her commitment to political and social issues in Europe, America and Japan. A diverse selection of images and archival documents are augmented through enlightening texts by authors from different theoretical backgrounds. These essays discuss Kusama's accomplishments in the worlds of fashion, film, art marketing, and publishing; focus on her cultural identities and artistic spheres; and offer genre-specific observations about Kusama's performances, installations and series of paintings. As panoramic and fascinating as its subject, this monumental retrospective will guide Kusama's enormous fan base toward a deeper understanding of her creative trajectory and of the breadth of her extraordinary achievement.
Type: BOOK - Published: 1998 - Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
"With great originality and scholarship, Amelia Jones maps out an extraordinary history of body art over the last three decades and embeds it in the theoretical terrain of postmoderism. The result is a wonderful and permissive space in which the viewer...can wander"...-Moira Roth, Trefethen professor of art history, Mills College.