press release

Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years explores the extraordinary work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (born 1929 Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture, Japan). The exhibition reveals the coherence of her practice over many decades and highlights the freshness and innovation she brings to themes investigated consistently throughout her life—repetition, pattern and aggregation.

Kusama describes herself as an 'obsessive artist'— her work is intensely sensual, infused with autobiographical, psychological and sexual content. The exhibition presents seminal works from her years in New York in the 1960s, such as Infinity Mirror Room-Phalli's Field (1965), Narcissus Garden (1966) and Walking Piece (c.1966) juxtaposed with the artist's more recent films, wall and floor pieces, and environments including Fireflies on the Water (2000) and the site specific, labyrinthine Invisible Life (2000/2009). A new environment Clouds (1999/2009) features large-scale monochromatic inflated forms which create a sombre other-worldliness in dark space, reflecting Kusama's on-going concerns of obliteration through physical scale, volume and positive and negative space.

The exhibition includes a selection of Kusama's renowned Infinity Net and Infinity Dot paintings which are at the core of her practice. Additionally, 50 new silkscreen works on canvas Love Forever (2004-7) appear as a stream of consciousness, fluidly drawn in black on white. The artist has covered every surface in myriad lines, sweeps, figurative and organic forms.

This exhibition also includes a special selection of very early works from the artist's own collection. In these, we recognise nets and accumulations of dots, combined with the sensual line she brings to Love Forever more than 50 years later.

Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years has been curated by Jaap Guldemond (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Franck Gautherot and Seungduk Kim (Le Consortium, Dijon, France). The exhibition is organised by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and proceeds to City Gallery Wellington in September 2009.

A major new publication Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years has been produced by les presses du reel, Dijon. Featuring installation views at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, an extensive Kusama picture biography from 1959-2008, texts by curators Jaap Guldemond, Franck Gautherot, Seungduk Kim with contributions by Diedrich Diedrichsen, Midori Yamamura and reflections on Kusama's work by contemporary Dutch artist Lily van der Stokker, the book is co-published in 2009 by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and City Gallery Wellington.

only in german

Yayoi Kusama
Mirrored Years
curator: Seungduk Kim