Angela and I recently met up with friends to attend the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Tate Modern. Famed for her repeating dot patterns, Kusama’s artistic passion has lead her from her roots in rural Japan to the New York art scene and back to Tokyo over the past nine decades. In that time, her work has involved an array of mixed media including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance and large-scale installations. Key works include her “Accumulations” sculptures, and large ‘Infinity Net’ paintings, made up of endless monotone brush-strokes built up to form textures. At her height in the 1960s, she befriended and influenced many artists, including Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Joseph Cornell and Claes Oldenburg.
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There is a clear focus on the obsessive in Kusama’s work. In 1977 she volunteered for psychiatric incarceration. Since then, she has worked from the ward, including her own studio space. Here, she can continue to produce elaborate designs including installations that immerse the viewer in dots, nets or incredible spaces of infinately mirrored light. (Something I particularly enjoyed.) As you walk through these pieces you realise that it’s through this method that she is truly able to share her visions and compulsions with other people, by dropping them right in the centre…
The exhibition is open until the 5th June 2012, and entry is £10.