Yayoi Kusama Japan, b. 1929
"With just one polka dot, nothing can be achieved. In the universe, there is the sun, the moon, the earth, and hundreds of millions of stars......Pursuing the philosophy of the universe through art under such circumstances has led me to what I call stereotypical repetition." - Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama is a contemporary Japanese artist working across painting, sculpture, film, and installation. She has produced a body of work formally unified by its use of repetitive dots, pumpkins, and mirrors.
Born on March 22, 1929 in Matsumoto City, Japan, she studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in 1958. Kusama proved herself a unique artist amidst the circles of Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, producing paintings based upon hallucinations she experienced as a child and installations such as Infinity Mirror Room (1965). Despite this initial success, mental health issues led her to return to Japan in the 1970s.
Living in relative obscurity over the following decades, it was not until she represented her country in the 1993 Venice Biennale that Kusama returned to the public eye. 2017 was an eventful year for the artist, it included the inauguration of her museum in Tokyo, the debut of "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors" at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., "Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of Rainbow" at the National Gallery Singapore, and the concurrent exhibitions "Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life" and "Yayoi Kusama Infinity Nets" at David Zwirner in New York.
Since 1977, Kusama has voluntarily chosen to live at the Seiwa Mental Hospital in Tokyo, Japan. Today, the artist's works can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, among others.