Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Nagano, Japan) is a painter, sculptor, writer, and installation artist who is one of the most important voices of the avant-garde and has transformed the nature of the pop, feminist, and minimalist art movements through her eclectic style and powerful themes.
Kusama is widely known for her polka dot motifs that cover and obliterate the surfaces they reside upon. She began painting as a child, expressing the dots that she saw in hallucinations on paper as a means of psychological release. A key player in the avant-garde New York City art scene in the 1960s, Kusama moved back to Japan in the 1970s, where she continues to work and live to this day, and began writing surrealist novels and revisiting older themes in her artwork, detaching herself from the hectic and over-saturated sphere of New York. Her works, especially her overwhelming installation spaces, mesmerize and transport the viewer to a strange, hypnotic realm, a vortex devoid of any semblance of the world outside the gallery space. They deal with themes of mental health, sexuality, and personal identity, often drawing upon autobiographical experiences.
Kusama’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Tate Modern (London), David Zwirner Gallery (New York), and the Museum of Modern Art (New York).
RxArt created a limited edition 200-piece puzzle featuring the artist’s Self-Portrait, 2008.