Narcissus Garden was made in the year 1966, it was Kusama’s first successful experiment with performance art. The twelve-inch in diameter 1500 mirrored balls are tightly arranged, creating an infinite reflective field that distorted images of reality on the surface of the balls. The main theme of this art is that the viewer is forced to confront their own vanity when looking at their distorted reflection on the surface of the balls. Consisting of an abandoned armchair painted white and completely covered with soft, stuffed phallic protrusions. In light of World Mental Health Day tomorrow, here are the artist’s most prolific reflections on mental health. The Infinity Mirror Room created specifically for this exhibition and the largest such installation Kusama has made to date is absolutely mesmeric, seeming truly to be ‘filled with the Brilliance of Life’.
In the West she found freedom and options that she was then challenged to order and control. In the end she decided to return to her homeland and her roots. Perhaps Kusama realized she could not obliterate her past or her heritage. And yet while she can connect with Japanese artists in her homeland, she travels the world to exhibit her work. The death of Joseph Cornell, her dear friend and mentor, was a great loss, and for this and other reasons she left New York in 1973.
As with the Happenings, there are a number of collage photographs in which you include yourself with your Compulsion Furniture. The most famous may be the image of you posed nude on your couch (Accumulation No. 2) in imitation of a pin-up girl, covered in polka dots. Behind the couch are infinity nets paintings, the floor is strewn with pasta. Ms. Kusama went on to develop soft sculptures in which she covered armchairs, tables, high-heeled shoes and, most famously, an entire rowboat with bulbous, phallic protrusions. Painted silver or bright colors with polka dots, these creations, which she often presented in installation groupings, gave physical form to her obsessional neurosis. Although we won’t go into detail about Yayoi Kusama’s paintings in this article, we have included a list of her best works.
Kusama’s burgeoning fame ultimately brought about a backlash in the media. “Kusama, whose gross lust for publicity never leaves room for taste, managed to put on the year’s most boring freak show,” wrote The Village Voice. Her family, horrified by the reports of sexual extravagance that had come back to them, ceased to send the money that had helped sustain her during the previous decade. Kusama traveled back and forth between Tokyo and New York in 1970; her anxiety and depression, which had never abated, were now becoming worse and worse. The death of Joseph Cornell two years later was very traumatic for her.
Kusama’s collages, displayed in room 7, insist on further comparisons and connections with both Pop Art and contemporary developments in minimal and conceptual creation. Her United Skates of Arnica One Roller Bills constitute a far more imaginative, wittily jejune play on capitalism and the peculiarly American obsession with wealth creation, in my opinion, than Warhol’s silkscreened dollar bills of the same period. In 1948 Kusama enrolled at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts look jumpstart marchmorley new where she studied Nihonga, a distinctly Japanese style of painting, whose development was closely tied to the rise of Japanese nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kusama soon became frustrated by Nihonga’s conventional teaching methods, feeling keenly too its associations with war time dictatorship. The cataclysmic state of Japan in the aftermath of war is evident in the apocalyptic imagery of Kusama’s early paintings, but also in her improvisatory use of materials.
Kusama’s hallucinatory visual and aural reimagining of what the curators refer to as ‘bourgeois stasis’ is rendered soulless and surreal by such a restaging. The fourth room features the Accumulation sculptures, first exhibited in a group show alongside work by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal and James Rosenquist at the Green Gallery in New York in 1962. The same might be said of Kusama’s Food Obsession series consisting of dried macaroni covered clothing, conveying, one might argue as in the Sex Obsession series, attitudes of shame and disgust in the midst of excess. Kusama’s 1959 Untitled , completed the same year as her renowned Infinity Nets series, exemplifies her mastery of abstraction. In this painting, Kusama continues her obsession and fascination with dots by portraying an unending expanse of dotted patterns against a white background.
She says that art became her way to express her mental disease. Yayoi Kusama was born on March, 22, 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, as the youngest of four children in a wealthy family. The quiet, meditative space is a reflection on life and the inevitability of death- subjects that have fascinated Kusama since she was a child. Narcissus Garden was Kusama’s first successful experimentation with Performance art. Although officially not invited to represent Japan at the 33rd Venice Biennale nor given permission to participate by Biennale officials, Kusama nevertheless placed 1,500 plastic silver globes on the lawn near the Italian Pavilion.
Cornell shared her sexual aversion and Kusama once remarked that ” hated sex. That’s why we got along so well.” Kusama and Cornell developed such a close bond that when he died in 1972 she began creating collages to both honor his work and cope with his passing. Accumulation No.1 is the first in Kusama’s iconic Accumulations series, in which she transforms found furniture into sexualized objects. The work consists of a single abandoned armchair painted white and completely covered with soft, stuffed phallic protrusions, while fringe encircles the base of the sculpture.