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Yayoi Kusama is recognized as one of Japan's best-known, most versatile and internationally successful artists. In the mid-1960s her work was mentioned in the same breath as Minimal art, monochrome painting, and the new trends in Europe, and she was also seen as a forerunner of Pop art. Noted for her soft sculptures and psychedelic installations, Kusama explores themes of love, infinity and obsession throughout her work, from her net-like pattern paintings begun in 1959, to her Pop-inspired love happenings in the 1960s, to installations in which every surface has been compulsively covered in polka-dots, mirrors or stuffed phallus-like protrusions.
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Frances Morris is Head of Collections (International Art) at Tate ModernReview:
Kusama, who grew up in rural Japan, first entered the spotlight in the 1960s--a bold splash of psycyhadelia landing in a New York art milieu dominated by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol...She established a reputation for art happenings choreographed with nude performers, soft-form penis sculptures, and dots.
Dots were her thing-beguiling, surreal, mysterious. The dots, she says in her accented English, are "my medicine--my personal medicine. From my childhood, I [saw] the polka dots... [and] people talked about [my art with] the polka dots..."
For her triumphant return to New York, Kusama, a diminutive woman, wore a Technicolor red wig, a black dress spattered with red dots, polka-dot sunglasses, and myriad other dotted accessories from [Louis] Vuitton. (Robin Givhan Newsweek)
"Kusama's is a wonderful behind-the-music story, the outsider, with destiny in her sights, who moves to the big city to prove herself, then collapses under the strain of striving, only to stage a comeback, bigger than ever." (Carl Swanson New York Magazine)
"The inescapable theme of infinity floods her work and finds its psychedelic way into the heart of even the most jaded of mainstream critics. Infinite and indispensible." (Patrik Sandberg V Magazine)
In Japan, she was regarded as "the queen of scandal," the critic Tatehata said, and not as a major artist. Yet she continued to create art, enlisting fellow hospital patients to assist her. The refurbishment of her reputation began with small exhibitions in Tokyo of the exquisite collages she made with magazine clippings that Cornell had given her. But her rediscovery on a larger stage dates from the pioneering 1989 exhibition in New York that was organized by Munroe at the short-lived Center for International Contemporary Arts. (Nobuyoshi Araki W Magazine)
Looking back, Kusama is an early example of an artist whose contribution is, essentially, a globalization of output. These works need no translation nor do they demand prolonged looking. Essentially they are mass displays of catchy stuff, ranging from airmail labels collaged by the hundred to phalli cast by the thousand, upstaged eventually by quite startling mirror mazes. (William Feaver ARTnews)
Ms. Kusama was born in the Japanese hinterlands in 1929, and the one big question that’s clear in her work is this: How does an artist blossom in the wake of World War II? For Ms. Kusama, one of Japan’s best-known artists, the answer was a sharp turn toward sometimes barely decipherable inscapes. She says she makes art “that does battle at the boundary between life and death.” In series like Self-Obliteration and Infinity Net it seems that she would like nothing better than to evanesce into eternity. (Dana Jennings The New York Times)
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Book Description Walther Konig, Koln, U.S.A., 2004. Soft Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. MInt copy in wraps still sealed in publisher's shrink wrap as issued Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Seller Inventory # 025430