Japanese | Avant-Garde
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b.1929) is a famously provocative avant-garde artist, best known for her works featuring repeating motifs and psychedelic imagery that evoke themes of psychology, feminism, obsession, sex, creation, destruction, and intense self-reflection. Kusama began painting at the age of 10, as a means of escaping a childhood of neglect and expressing her early experiences with hallucinogenic visions. These apparitions consisted of dots and patterns enveloping her surroundings, suggesting issues of mental illness which have continued to strongly influence her work.
Inspired by a letter she received from Georgia O’Keefe, Kusama moved to New York City in 1957 to pursue a career as an artist. Over the next decade she garnered a reputation as a controversial member of the New York avant-garde, first obsessively working on her series of Infinity Nets, paintings and sculptures featuring meticulous, seemingly endless repetitive motifs. In 2008, Kusama became the best-selling living female artist, with works breaking record prices at auction. She currently lives and works in Tokyo.