A Woman to Know: Yayoi Kusama
|Julia Carpenter||Feb 22, 2017|
I am just another dot in the world. — Yayoi Kusama
(image via Wikimedia Commons)
Yayoi Kusama is besotted with dots — dot maps, polka dots, dotted lines, dots of light and more. The 86-year-old Japanese artist is famous for her zany paintings, bizarre outdoor sculpture and humongous outdoor installations. Her personal life is just as notorious as her artistic one: she has lived voluntarily inside a Japanese mental institution since 1977 ("my artwork is an expression of my life, especially of my mental disease"), and she lists other creative luminaries (including Joseph Cornell, my personal favorite artist) as close friends and lovers.
Yayoi has staged "performance art orgies," where participants paint their partners in thousands of glow-in-the-dark dots. She has built entire mirror-walled rooms lit by disco balls, where viewers can see points of light reflected into a seeming infinity. She has posed naked in downtown Manhattan, cast balloons off a rooftop and collaborated with Louis Vuitton.
And according to The Guardian, she's the most popular artist in the world — more people attended her museum exhibitions in 2014 than saw work by such famous male artists as Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and even Andy Warhol. Her mirrored rooms debut today at the Hirshhorn. The timed passes sold out in minutes.
Add to your reading list:
Infinity Net: An Autobiography (Yayoi Kusama)
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (Mika Yoshitake)
The Little Mermaid (Yayoi Kusama)
How Yayoi Kusama, the "Infinity Mirrors" visionary, channels mental illness into art (The Washington Post)
Man-hating artist covers Tate Modern in dots (Bloomberg)
The price of being female (The Economist)
Yayoi Kusama named the world's most popular artist in 2014 (The Guardian)
In conversation with Yayoi Kusama (BOMB Magazine)
Infinity Mirror Rooms (Hirshhorn Museum of Art)
Dots Obsession Interactive (Queensland Art Gallery)
Yayoi Kusama Debuts Weird, Whimsical Work in Hawaii (The New York Times)
Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room (The Broad)
Flowers that bloom tomorrow (Victoria Miro Garden)
Outdoor Sculptures (Victoria Miro Garden)
Yayoi Kusama (Gagosian Gallery)
"Yellow Trees Growing" (The Wall Street Journal)
Kusama's Infinity Net Paintings (Whitney Museum)
Dots Obsession (artnet)
Yayoi's comeback at the Tate Modern (The Telegraph)
*~Send your recommendations for women to know! Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she could be featured in an upcoming edition.~* You can browse the archive here.