Kusama is included in TIME magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2014, Art Newspaper named her the world's most popular artist. Her solo exhibition that toured Reina Sofia (Madrid), Tate Modern (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the Whitney Museum (New York) received extensive press coverage. Touring exhibitions in Latin America, Asia, and Northern Europe followed.
The National Art Center, Tokyo 10th Anniversary
YAYOI KUSAMA: My Eternal Soul
Since her debut, she has been enormously productive in terms of experimenting with different forms of artwork including paintings, collages, sculptures, environmental installations, novels and poetry. In recent years, her exhibitions toured various countries around Europe, Latin America, and Asia, receiving worldwide acclaim. To say she is the most important artist in Japan is not an overstatement.
The National Art Center, Tokyo Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul exhibition features 132 paintings from Kusama’s “My Eternal Soul” series that she embarked on in 2009. The exhibition also presents a retrospective view, through 80 works that range from her earliest drawings to the present. These are lent from a number of collections. In all, over 270 works selected from Kusama’s more than 70-year prolific career are on display.
February 22 (Wed.) - May 22 (Mon.) , 2017
Closed on Tuesdays (except for May 2)
*10:00-20:00 on Fridays and April 29 (Sat.) – May 7 (Sun.)
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan), Special Exhibition Gallery 1E
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558
|Organized by||The National Art Center, Tokyo, The Asahi Shimbun, TV Asahi|
|With the sponsorship of||KAJIMA CORPORATION, OKAMURA PRINTING INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.|
|With the cooperation of||YAYOI KUSAMA STUDIO, Panasonic Corporation, TOKYO FM|
|Admission (tax included)||
|Inquiries||Tel : +81 (0)3-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)|
I Kusama in the 21st Century
- "My Eternal Soul"
- The "My Eternal Soul" series, begun in 2009, is an ongoing project currently comprising over 500 paintings. In the early stages of production, Kusama used several sizes of canvas, measuring 162×130.3cm, or 162×162cm. Later, the size standardized to a quasi-square canvas measuring 194×194cm. The series is marked by astonishing variety, incorporating abstract patterns as well as natural forms. It represents the essence of Kusama’s art, and is an embodiment of all the elements of her corpus of work.
II Kusama in the 20th Century
- 1 Kusama in Matsumoto
- Interested in painting since childhood, Yayoi Kusama began to study nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts. She became disenchanted with the course, and instead went on to create independently at her home in Matsumoto. In the 1950s, Kusama depicted abstract as well as natural forms, and developed a variety of motifs based on plant and animal forms, the planets and universe, and urban landscapes. Art critic Shūzō Takiguchi recognized her abilities and organized several solo exhibitions for her in Tokyo.
- 2 Kusama in New York 1957-73
- Kusama felt limited in Japan. In the autumn of 1957, she moved to the United States and settled down the following year in New York. Her Infinity Nets paintings, vast fields of canvas filled with monochrome strokes with no center, and no structure, quickly gained attention. Following that, her work revealed obsessions with sex and food. She produced furniture with appended soft sculpture phallic forms, accumulations and installations, as well as Happenings (performance art).
- 3 Kusama in Tokyo
- In 1973, Kusama returned to Tokyo due to ill health. She continued creating while staying in the hospital. Motifs of her work include polka dots, nets, and phallic imagery in paintings, sculptures, and installations. Vivid colors and figurative motifs emerged as new elements during this period. She also began work in media such as collage, engraving, and in the writing of fiction and poetry. Her straightforward expression related to the subjects of death, sex, and the infinite universe attracted new audiences. Her artistic horizons also broadened through a number of collaborations.