If you haven’t seen Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at London’s Tate Modern yet, then you should. That’s if for nothing more than to step into the experience of mental illness with her famous Infinity Room at the end of it. Before you reach that spectacular and slightly terrifying installation, though, the retrospective tour of a life’s work provides some fascinating historical insight.
Obviously there are the phases in Kusama’s work covering her earliest Art Brut – style paintings and abstract watercolours of the 50s, her pioneering minimal explorations Infinity Nets and those famous phallic Accumulations of the 60s. Following a foray into collage and film at the same time as of her reactionary ‘happenings’ occurring in the psychedelic 70s, one can see other past motifs return to her work. Collage and watercolour resurfaces after her return to Japan and subsequent voluntary institutionalisation in 1973. The spermatozoa and natural forms of her earliest work return in her acrylic paintings in the 80s and by the 90s her fascination with organic abstraction extends into larger-than-life install pieces of stuffed cushions. The polka dots remain throughout. Continue reading Managing Madnessshare news item