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Yayoi Kusama

by Jacob Resneck in Culture on 03 August 2007

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Japanese-born Yayoi Kusama has been creating her distinctive brand of avant-garde creations ever since she arrived in the U.S. some 50 years ago. But she's taken it to a new level. Moving into the medium of open-air sculptures in 1994, Kusama debuted a solo exhibition in Tokyo entitled "KUSAMATRIX" a decade later drawing more than a half-million people.

Today, her pieces reside permanently not only in Japanese art museums but the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan was well as modern art galleries in Minneapolis and Pittsburgh.

More recently Kusama has created a series of spaces that draw upon her signature gestalt polka dot effect that's an overwhelming onslaught of aural stimuli.

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"Kusama's rooms are under complete vibe-control lockdown," as our friends at Veneer Magazine wrote on their blog. "As you timidly cross the threshold and the door swings shut behind you, you're suddenly the centerpiece of an echoing, infinite landscape populated by hovering lights and the hollow slap of air conditioning."

Kusama's work is featured in a number of exhibits running concurrently on different continents. In New York City, her work is part of the "Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era" showcase at the Whitney Museum of American Art; a solo exhibit called "Dots Obsession" is running 13 September-18 November 2007 in Brussels at the WIELS gallery.

And in Tokyo, the Hills Cafe has been subsumed into Kusama's polka-dotted universe with every square centimeter of this lunchtime eatery covered in garish polka dots. "I wish to cover everything in the cafe with pink dots," Kusama explains on her website "In space painted in pink, polka dots that is infinity love filled everybody's heart with joy. In universe the moon and the sun are a part of dots. The mother earth as well as billions of stars are put under a pink spell to turn to pink."

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