Blog (in Engels) over Yayoi Kusama, waarom kende ik haar niet? 10 Mrt. 2012
Yayoi Kusama (1929 Matsumoto Japan) worked in Japan, US and went back to Japan. I visited London for the exposition of David Hockney. But at the TateModern I discovered Kusama. Why did I not know her before? I did know all the male artist of her generation. Astonishing. I had just seen this installation of hers in Rotterdam, see the picture. But I had no idea who she was and how much she had already done.
In her early paintings, made still in Japan, she uses seed and plants as input for her imagination. Her drawings are sometimes very dark with in the middle some sort of round spot where things are happening. Detailed but abstract drawing in a circle.
Her work in US varies. She made minimal paintings in whites, where in the surface there is thicker or lesser paint, systematical over the whole canvas. She also makes works with color, later, with very detailed small brushstrokes, or lines and repeating it in a manner, that a kind of optical relief is seen. It reminds of a moss, or a snakes skin or a leave almost deteriorated. But than they are big canvases, like 3 x 1.50 m. or so.
She also makes/organizes video work and performances, where every one is (naked) being dotted. The dots are painted on each other in big crowds, happenings. Very well know at that time. (around 1969 or so)
Then there are the soft forms, seen in the picture above. They are stuffed small seed, phallus or wormlike forms. Put together almost as a flower arrangement. She makes huge installations of these white things, covering furniture, cloth's or a whole room. Strange decors of a story waiting to be unfold. And then we have the dresses, there are white or gold and covered with pasta forms.
There are references of O’Keeffe indeed: the flowers en seeds, but also Bourgeois: the stuffed forms, and de Saint Phalle, the dresses… did she knew the last two?
Nowadays she make big installations: rooms with walls of mirrors , so that an endless space is simulated. In the room she places dotted stuffed forms or there is on some other way dotting going on, in light less, or in stickers on objects ... strange places, worlds out of a dream ..