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Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama
Japan 1929
André Simoens Gallery

Yayoi Kusama started to paint using polka dots and nets as motifs at around age ten. The artist herself has associated these structures with the terms "endlessness" and "nothingness" time and again. Soon her nets cover not just canvases but entire rooms. She has created fantastic paintings in watercolors, pastels and oils but produced also open-air pieces. In the late 1960s, she staged numerous happenings: body painting festivals, fashion shows and anti-war demonstrations. Kusama paints the body with polka dots, referring to this process as "obliteration”. She believes that when individuality is obliterated, a fusion with the universe is possible. In 1993, Kusama is the only artist to be invited to design the Japanese pavillon at the Venice Biennale and in 1998, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art mounts a large retrospective, which travels on to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Kusama is still making art in her studio and now 80, she is regarded as Japan’s greatest living artist.

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