Beginning her studies in traditional Japanese painting in 1948, Yayoi Kusama soon after pursued more experimental work in the medium, upon moving to New York in 1957, before branching out to sculpture, performance, printmaking, photography and installation. Her sustained exploration of perception and attendant preoccupations with infinitude and oblivion have driven her consistent use of pattern and repetition, a common thread that runs throughout the artist’s prolific output—from early Infinity Net (1959) paintings, to her signature polka dot motif and more recent Mirror/Infinity rooms, for which she is now well-known. In many ways, her work could be said to both anticipate and surpass the formal and conceptual inquiries advanced by Pop Art and Minimalism, two major avant-garde movements of the twentieth century. Although primarily recognised as a visual artist, Kusama has also produced work as a writer, filmmaker and fashion designer.
The artist has shown her work extensively, both locally and internationally. Her work has been the subject of many solo and survey exhibitions, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015), Fundación CorpArtes, Santiago, Chile (2015), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (2015), Seoul Arts Centre (2014), Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, Japan (2013), Oita Art Museum, Japan (2013), MALBA - Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires (2013), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2013), Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2013), Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2013) the Fundación CorpArtes, Santiago, Chile (2013), Tate Modern, London (2012), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2012), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012), National Museum of Art, Osaka (2012), Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nagano, Japan (2012), (2012), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2011), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2008), National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (2005), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (2005), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2004), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2004), Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2000), Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2000), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2000), Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2000), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1998), Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1998) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1998). In 1993, Kusama represented Japan at the 38th La Biennale di Venezia. In addition, she has received several public art commissions, including for the Anyang Public Art Project, Anyang, Korea (2007), Beverly Gardens Park, Beverly Hills (2007), Fukuoka Municipal Museum of Art, Japan (2004) and the Matsumoto City Museum of Art (2002). She is the recipient of Order of the Rising Sun, a lifetime achievement award given by Japan (2006) and the Asahi Prize (2001).