The National Museum of Art Osaka is now hosting the works of Yayoi Kusama, avant-garde "artist and novelist", born in 1929 in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. View her works on her official website, on NMAO museum's site and on Asahi Shinbun Daily Newspaper's site (main sponsor).
After curating Renoir, tradition and innovation (2010) and The Complete Posters of Tadanori Yokoo (2010) exhibitions, Masahiro Yasugi, a museum-profit record-breaker at NMAO, has taken charge once again.
Taking photographs is permitted in most exhibition rooms.
With all my love for the tulips, I pray forever by Yayoi Kusama, 2011
Courtesy of The National Museum of Art, Osaka (current exhibition)
Whether polka dots make you think of Dexter's blood spatter, or are reminding you of Brigitte Bardot's femininity, it is fair to say that they have become Kusama's signature.
Dots: Brigitte Bardot vs Dexter
In terms of style, one cannot fail to notice the resemblance to Takashi Murakami's works. Murakami has displayed his works at the Versailles Palace in 2010, stirring controversy among critics but not so much among young fans. You can see more images in the Guardian.
Takashi Murakami @ Versailles (2010)
Both of them also enjoy a business collaboration with Louis Vuitton.
Many of Kusama's monochromatic works using manga-brush for silkscreen printing on canvas or acrylics on canvas, display women's broken features, which, even though lacking the emotional heaviness of the subject, make us think of Picasso, and his work Weeping Woman (1937) from the Tate Collection.
Women in a Dream [TWZSA] & First Love [SWTUE] by Yayoi Kusama (2005)
草間彌生 《夢の中の女たち[TWZSA] 》＆《初恋 [SWTUE]》
Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman (1937)
© Tate Collection
Patterns like the one below remind of Gustav Klimt's style from the mural painting The Tree of Life at the Secession in Vienna.
I Who Was Looking Hard at God, by Yayoi Kusama, 2011
The Tree of Life, Gustav Klimt, 1909
The explosion of stickers on white surfaces at Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art (Australia) reveal even more Yayoi Kusama's playfulness, she makes differences vanish and dreams unify all edges.
Installation views of The obliteration room 2011
as part of ‘Yayoi Kusama: Look Now, See Forever’,
Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art, 2011
© Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.
Photographs: Mark Sherwood
YayOi Ku$ama and the dOt$ Ob$e$$iOn - O$aka
Welcome to the Osaka exhibition !
Yayoi Kusama Eternity of Eternal Eternity at NMAO 2012
catalogue, flyer, list of exhibited works, museum events
Exhibition banner stand
dots are a medium, an equalizer, a standardizer
everything becomes absorbed in this obsessional dotscape
dots reach the upper floors
shapes resembling Miyazaki's Kodama-s show up
they get round & take flight
dotscape trying to escape
The exhibition space ends with a dazzling experience inside Gleaming Lights of the Souls, a Steppenwolf - like gigantic mirror-space of a Magic Theatre (mixed media, 2008).
Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Serpentine Gallery, London, 2000
Yayoi Kusama: Flowers that bloom at midnight, by Evelyne Politanoff, Huffington Post, 12 December 2011
Interview Yayoi Kusama, by Helen Sumpter, in TimeOut London, 2012
Love Forever, Yayoi Kusama 1958-1968, MoMA exhibition web page, 1998
There has been a boom in Yayoi KUSAMA major exhibitions in 2011-2012:
Eternity of Eternal Eternity, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan, 7 January- 8 April 2012 (curated by Masahiro Yasugi, supported by Asahi Shinbun Daily Newspaper)
Tate Modern, London, 9 February- 5 June 2012 (curated by Frances Morris and Rachel Taylor, supported by Louis Vuitton, see press release here)
Centre Pompidou, Paris, 10 October 2011-9 January 2012 (supported by KENZO Parfums, see press release here) - see an one-hour video created by the Centre Pompidou here.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 12 July- 30 September 2012
Gagosian Gallery, Rome, 25 March - 7 May 2011
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 11 May - 12 September 2011