Culture, Multiculture, Our People, Visual Arts

Yayoi Kusama and her Polka dots

The work of this virtuoso Japanese artist will appear in an exhibition, which will run from the 9th of February until the 5th of June.

With vibrant art exhibitions and fascinating patterns, the Tate Modern will be displaying the work of Yayoi Kusama, the most important artist in contemporary Japanese art.

Kusama was born and raised in Japan, where she created her distinctive style of art with polka dots. In 1958, at the age of 27, she left a Japan immersed in a widespread feeling of defeat and identity crisis in the middle of the Post-War era, and moved to the United States.

She revolutionized the Big Apple with her eccentric art and radical works: in Walking Piece, she walked around New York in a kimono; whilst on other occasions, she appeared nude in the city, as her protest against the Vietnam War.

She caught the attention of the New York avant-garde movement and she relied upon the support of other artists, such as Georgia O’Keefe. She also maintained a relationship with the North American artist, Joseph Cornell, during these years.

Nevertheless, in 1973 the artist reinvented herself and returned to Japan. From the psychiatric hospital in which she had entered voluntarily, she renewed her art. From then on she combined her pictorial and sculptural works with writings (poetry, novels, her autobiography…).

The exhibition at the Tate Modern reflects her colourful, and at times painful, life as one of the most well-known contemporary Japanese artists. Bold pieces and, of course, the polka dot prints which are synonymous with her name encourage experts in modern art as much as novices to visit.

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(Translated by Sabrina Chapman)

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