The monumental and immersive installations of Yayoi Kusama are internationally known. They have inspired artists like Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst and have been exhibited in the biggest places dedicated to contemporary art: at MoMA in New York, at the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris or at the Venice Biennale .
Born in 1929 in Japan, she started drawing from childhood. She suffered from hallucinations very early. It is by looking at a flower tablecloth and looking up at the ceiling that she realizes that the image of peas persists. Her hallucinations will remain omnipresent in her work, and in particular these famous peas.
She studies at Hiyoshigaoka Upper Secondary School where she mainly does traditional and modern Japanese painting. It is rare to see a woman evolve in the profession of artist in Japanese patriarchal society.
Her parents therefore oppose her practice, especially her mother, but this will only nourish her art and forge her convictions. She also detaches herself from overly traditional Japanese education and gives herself more freedom by taking Western models as inspiration.
At the age of 27, she moved to Seattle and then to New York, where she was forced to live with very little. She started exhibiting with avant-garde artists: Yves Klein, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. She frequently collaborates with her artist friend Donald Judd and presents an increasingly provocative art.
From the 60s, she fully joined the Avant-Garde with her Psychedelic art and close to Pop-Art. She produces more and more Happenings (spontaneous performance which requires public participation) and performances. She is known for her "Naked Demonstrations", which are naked demonstrations with political aims, and for which she was often arrested by the police.
Her installations at the Gertrude Stein Gallery in 1964 were a resounding success. She is then known for the happenings she organizes at the bottom of her loft, lying on a mattress, covered with phallic shapes and peas.
In 1966, she went, without invitation, to Venice Biennale with her work "Narcissus Garden", an installation in the canals, which she filled with 1500 shimmering balls. She will be invited to the Venice Biennale in 1993, but this time officially.
She returned to Japan in 1973, tired, then joined a Psychiatric Hospital in 1977, in which she lived, opposite her studio. Her art allows her firstly to treat her hallucinations, but also her phobias: the fear of sex for example, which comes to her from the adulterous behavior of her father with her mother.
Her art is provocative but serves feminist and anti-macho beliefs that she developed while growing up in Japan. Art gives meaning to her life. She also opens her own museum in Tokyo and remains very active in the art world.
SOLO & GROUP SHOW
SELECTION LAST DECADE
Inaugural exhibition Creation is a Solotary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art, YAYOI KUSAMA MUSEUM, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA : LIFE IS THE HEART OF A RAINBOW National Galley Singapore / Galley of Modern Art[GOMA], Brisbane, Nov.2017-Feb.2018 / The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara [ Museum MACAN], Jakarta, May.-Sep.2018
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, HIrshhorn Museum and Sculpture Park, Washington, D.C / Seattle Art Museum, Jun.-Sep.2017 / The Broad, Los Angels, Oct.2017-Jan.2018 / Art Galley of Ontario, Toronto, Mar.-May.2018 / Cleaveland Museum of Art, Ohio, Jul.-Sep.2018 / High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Nov.2018-Feb.2019
YAYOI KUSAMA: My Eternal Soul The National Art Center, Tokyo
Imagined Peripheries, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
Yayoi Kusama : Prints, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
Yayoi Kusama Monochrome, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA My Eternal Soul Paintigs, Victoria Iro MAyfair, London
Yayoi Kusama : Sculptures, PAintings & Mirror Rooms, Victoria Miro Galley I, Gallery II and Garden, London
Primal lines, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Feb.-May.2016 / Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Jun.-Sep.2016 / Helsinki Art Museum, Oct.2016-Jan.2017
Special Exhibition : YAYOI KUSAMA The Place for My Soull
Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nagano, Japan
YAYOI KUSAMA INFINITY THEORY Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
YAYOI KUSAMA GIVE ME LOVE, David Zwirner, New York
YAYOI KUSAMA : Prints Part 2, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA : Prints Part 1, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
ZERO : Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s, Guggenheim Museum, New York
Yayoi Kusama Pumpkins, Victoria Miro, London
KUSAMA YAYOI A DREAM IN JEJU, Bonte Museum, Jeju
DOGO ONSEN ART2014, Dogo Onsen, Ahime, Japan, Pre open, Dec.2013
Yayoi Kusama I Who Have Arrived In Heaven, David Zwirner, New York
Shinjuku Creaters Festa, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Collction 2, Postwar Sculpture : Focus on Materials, Kirishima Open-Air Museum, Kagoshima, Japan
KUSAMA YAYOI, A Dream I Dreamed, Daegu Art Museum, Korea /Museum Contemporary Art Shanghai, Dec.2013- Mar.2014 / Seoul Arts Centre, May.-Jun.2014 / Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, Feb.-May. 2015 / National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Jun.-Aug.2015
Takahashi Collection - Mindfullness
Kirishima Open-Air Museum ,Kagoshima /Art Park Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo Art Park, Hokkaido, Sep.-Nov.2013 / Nagoya City Art Museum, Apr.-Jun. 2014
Yayoi Kusama. Obsession Infinita [Infinite Obsession], Malba - Fundacacion Constantini, Buenos Aires / Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Oct.2013-Jan.2014 / Centro Cultutal Banco do Brasil, Brasília, Feb.-Apr.2014 / Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, May.-Jul.2014 / Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Sep.2014-Jan.2015 / Fundacio´n CorpArtes, Santiago, Chili, Mar.-Jun.2015
Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nagano, Japan
Dots Obsession - Love Transformed into Dots, SKMU Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, Norway
Flowers, Towada Art Center, Aomori, Japan
Visceral Sensation - Voices So Far, So Near, 21st Century Museum of Art, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan
All You Need is Love : From Chagall to Kusama and Hatsume Miku, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA Paintings & Accumulation Sculptures, Victoria Miro, London
Wonderful My Art, Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, Japan
Situations and Exchanges: Fukuoka Contemporary Art Chronicle, Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukuoka Art Museum
YAYOI KUSAMA : New Paintings 2, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA : New Paintings, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
Art Will Thrill You! - The Essence of Modern Japanese Art, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Son et Lumiere (et sagesse profonde) 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, kanazawa
The Osaka Best Art Exhibition Osaka City Museum of Modern Art [tentative name], Shinsaibashi exhibition room
Dialogues Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo
YAYOI KUSAMA METALLIC Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
LA VIE DES FORMES, les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France
Masterpieces from the Ohara Museum of Art, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art
YAYOI KUSAMA - HONG KONG BLOOMS IN MY MIND, Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery
To Wander a Garden, Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka
The 35th Anniversary of the National Museum of Art, Osaka: the Allure of the Collection, The National Museum of Art, Osaka
MOMAS Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan
Double Vision: Contemporary Art from Japan, State Museum of Modern Art of Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow
mite!ne. Shimane, Iwami Art Museum, Shimane
Yayoi Kusama New Works, Victoria Miro, London
Yayoi Kusama Eternity of Eternal Eternity, The National Museum of Art, Osaka / The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Apr.2012 / Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nagano, Jul.2012 / Niigata City Art Museum, Nov.2012 / Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Apr.2013 / Oita Art Museum, Jul.2013 / Museum of Art Kochi, Nov.2013-Feb.2014 / Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Apr.-Jun.2014 / Akita Senshu Museum of Art & Akita Museum of Modern Art, Jul.-Sep.2014 / Matsuzakaya Museum, Nagoya, Sep.-Oct.2014
YAYOI KUSAMA New Paintings & Sculptures, Victoria Miro, London
YAYOI KUSAMA, Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
YAYOI KUSAMA, GAGOSIAN GALLERY, Rome