Yayoi Kusama - The Polka Dot Queen

Yayoi Kusama - The Polka Dot Queen Main Image

Despite her advancing years, 2012 looks to be another revival for Yayoi Kusama – one of the most respected contemporary artists Japan has produced. Now in her ninth decade, Kusama came from rural Japan and was propelled into the limelight by being part of the same New York art scene that included Claes Oldenberg, Andy Warhol and Donald Judd. Instantly recognisable for her repeating polka dot patterns, she has produced work in nearly every medium imaginable – constantly innovating and re-inventing her style.

This year will see Kusama team up with monolithic fashion brand Louis Vuitton to create pieces for their new collection, due for launch in stores in early July. A spokesperson for the brand called Marc Jacobs (Vuitton’s designer)“a longtime fan of Kusama” and revealed that Kusama’s artwork will be displayed in their flagship store on New Bond Street, London. Louis Vuitton is also a sponsor of Tate Modern’s Kusama retrospective, which runs until early June.

The Tate Modern’s latest exhibition is the largest ever of her work in the UK and is arranged chronologically through the decades of her life. Since 1977 Kusama has lived voluntarily in a psychiatric institution, with much of her work dealing with ideas of obsession and psychological battles. In an attempt to share her experiences, she creates installations that immerse the viewer in her “obsessively charged vision of endless dots and nets or infinitely mirrored space”. The Tate Modern call it an “unmissable opportunity for both Kusama fans and those new to her work”.

As if that wasn’t enough, Kusama will also be exhibiting at the Roppongi Art Night on the 24th and 25th of March, spearheading the collection of artists which aim to promote “a message of Japan’s renewed vitality”.

Louis Vuitton×Yayoi Kusama

Tate Modern

Roppongi Art Night

Words: Mark Birtles

Translation: Asuka Ozutsumi

March 11, 2012