Yayoi Kusama
1929–

Introduction

Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生, Kusama Yayoi, born 22 March 1929) is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, and is also active in painting, performance, video art, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. Her work is based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. She has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, the world's top-selling female artist, and the world's most successful living artist. Her work influenced that of her contemporaries, including Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg.

Kusama was raised in Matsumoto, and trained at the Kyoto City University of Arts for a year in a traditional Japanese painting style called nihonga. She was inspired by American Abstract impressionism. She moved to New York City in 1958 and was a part of the New York avant-garde scene throughout the 1960s, especially in the pop-art movement. Embracing the rise of the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, she came to public attention when she organized a series of happenings in which naked participants were painted with brightly coloured polka dots. She experienced a period in the 70s during which her work was largely forgotten, but a revival of interest in the 1980s brought her art back into public view. Kusama has continued to create art in various museums around the world, from the 1950s through the 2020s.

Kusama has been open about her mental health and has resided since the 1970s in a mental health facility which she leaves daily to walk to her nearby studio to work. She says that art has become her way to express her mental problems. "I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieved my illness is to keep creating art," she told an interviewer in 2012. "I followed the thread of art and somehow discovered a path that would allow me to live."

Wikidata identifier

Q231121

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Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Accessed May 27, 2024.

Introduction

Kusama is known for her varied practice that includes painting, sculpture and room-sized installations. She moved to the US 1957, settling in New York City, and produced paintings influenced by abstract expressionism. She was active in New York in the 1960s creating sculpture and installations, and producing happenings.

Country of birth

Japan

Roles

Artist, author, collagist, installation artist, painter, performance artist, photographer, sculptor, video artist, writer

ULAN identifier

500122518

Names

Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Nusama, 草間弥生, 草間彌生

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 27, 2024.