Artwork

Dots Obsession / Yayoi Kusama

1996
Yayoi Kusama with Dots Obsession, 1996
Views
Identifier

IWC.1996.111

Materials

paint, steel, adhesive dots, balloons

Description
The room is 16' wide by 50' long by 10' high, and is painted an intense yellow. Black dots in three sizes (8" to 20" in diameter) have been randomly placed on walls, floor, ceiling. Three huge, organically-shaped balloons (one is 30 feet long by 10 feet high) are the same color as the room, right down to the black dots. They fill the space, physically and visually crowding out human visitors.
Artist Statement
A passage to Another World.

A mirror is a device which obliterates everything including myself and others in the light of another world or a gallant apparatus which creates nothingness. 

My ominous recollection: one day, I was looking at a tablecloth covered in red flowers, which was spread out on the table. Then I looked up towards the ceiling. There, on the windows and even on the pillars, I would see the same red flowers. They were all over the place in the room, my body, and entire universe. I finally came to a self-obliteration and returned to be restored to the infinity of eternal time and the absoluteness of space. I was not having a vision. It was a true reality. I was astounded. Unless I got out of here, the curse of those flowers will seize my life! I ran frantically up the stairs. As I looked down, the sight of each step falling apart made me stumble. I fell all the way down the stairs and sprained my leg.

Dismantling and accumulating, proliferating and separating, the sense of obliterating and the sounds from the invisible cosmos. What are all these things?
About the Artist
Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese master painter, sculptor, performance, and installation artist, began her artistic career in the 1950's. She lived and worked in New York City from the late 1950's through the early 1970's, where she was an influential participant in the avant-garde scene. Since her return to Tokyo, Kusama has lived by her own choice in a psychiatric hospital, maintaining an off-site studio with a staff of assistants. Her struggle with mental illness and "normalcy" is channeled into her work, which is all-consuming. Overflowing with repeating anthropomorphic shapes and patterns, her imagery recreates fantastic vision that only she can see. Like her artistic peers Joseph Beuys and Louise Bourgeois, Kusama has created transcendent work from an idiosyncratic personal vision pursued over the course of a lifetime. All of her work has come from a waking vision in which she sat at a table covered with a floral tablecloth, in a room covered with floral wallpaper, and saw that her hands, too, were covered with flowers. Her work explores the obliteration of the self, as the viewer becomes part of the work, reflected in mirrors, obstructed by organic forms, almost as if being sucked into the walls. Kusama's work has been seen in numerous exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Japan and she was the first artist to represent Japan with a solo show at the 1993 Venice Biennale.
October 19, 1996 - June 29, 1997
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