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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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Yayoi Kusama

b. 1929, Japan

Yayoi Kusama is widely regarded as one of the world’s most important living artists. Kusama began her studies in painting in Kyoto, Japan before exploring a variety of media including objects, installation, performance, collage, literature, film, and fashion and furniture design. Kusama’s interest in psychedelic colours, pattern, and repetition has been prevalent throughout her career spanning over six decades and recalls childhood hallucinations of dots and nets.

Among her most notable works are her compelling large-scale installations such as Infinity Mirrored Room and Obliteration Room, which allows the audience to partake in the artist’s repetitive methods of ‘self-obliteration.’ Based on conceptual art theory and infused with autobiographical and psychological content, Kusama’s multidisciplinary art is as much experienced as it is seen. 

Kusama, who now lives and works in Tokyo following fifteen years spent in New York, gained widespread recognition as an avant-garde artist in the 1980s. 

Her work is held in museum collections worldwide including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others. Kusama has been the subject of major retrospectives at the Whitney Museum in 2012, the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1998, and the Tate Modern, London in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include New Paintings at Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo (2012), Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love at David Zwirner, New York (2015), and Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro, Wharf Road (2016). In 2006, Kusama received a Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

Featured Artworks

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INFINITY-NETS [KOMS] by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaINFINITY-NETS [KOMS], 2015 Acrylic on canvas
44.12 x 57.38 inches
David Zwirner
GARDEN OF WOMEN IN BLOOMING YOUTH by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaGARDEN OF WOMEN IN BLOOMING YOUTH, 2018 Acrylic on canvas
194 x 194 cm
Victoria Miro
PUMPKIN [WUTIU] by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaPUMPKIN [WUTIU], 2018 Acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Victoria Miro
Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow L by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaFlowers That Bloom Tomorrow L, 2010 Fiberglass reinforced plastic, metal and urethane paint
200 x 340 x 200 cm
Victoria Miro
Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaPumpkin, 2009 Fiberglass reinforced plastic and paint
100 x 120 x 120 cm
Victoria Miro
SELF-PORTRAIT BELROS by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaSELF-PORTRAIT BELROS, 2010 Acrylic on canvas
162 x 130 cm
Victoria Miro
Red and Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama contemporary artwork Yayoi KusamaRed and Yellow Pumpkin Painted cast resin,
Brand New Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Yayoi Kusama, THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
3 October–21 December 2018 Yayoi Kusama THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Surface Work at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
11 April–19 May 2018 Group Exhibition Surface Work Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Surface Work at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
11 April–16 June 2018 Group Exhibition Surface Work Victoria Miro, Mayfair, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

In Memory of a Free Public: Harbour Arts Sculpture Park Ocula Report In Memory of a Free Public: Harbour Arts Sculpture Park 16 Mar 2018 : Hera Chan for Ocula

It was at Tamar Park that the initial sit-ins took place around the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, sparking the Umbrella Movement in 2014. Thousands of students advocated for universal suffrage in the response to electoral reforms enacted on Hong Kong by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. It was here, on 26 September...

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Two Exhibitions: Two Collections - Japan Focus Ocula Report Two Exhibitions: Two Collections - Japan Focus 12 Sep 2014 : Annabel James for Ocula

Two private collection shows in Japan this summer revealed radically different ways to present and interpret the role of the contemporary art collector.

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If Pigs Could Fly: A Report From Art Stage Singapore Ocula Report If Pigs Could Fly: A Report From Art Stage Singapore 28 Jan 2014 : Sherman Sam for Ocula

No art fair is complete without an inflatable, in this case a bright pink, flying pig (well actually this one doesn’t fly, but not every one can do a Pink Floyd). This larger-than-life work, Love Me (2013) by Jeong-Hwa Choi at the Vannessa Qwang Gallery, inflates then deflates slightly at a gentle pace, bringing one gallerist to remark...

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In Related Press

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Yayoi Kusama’s Mesmerizing, Meditative Garden Related Press Yayoi Kusama’s Mesmerizing, Meditative Garden Hyperallergic : 13 July 2018

My most recent visit to the Rockaways was to experience Yayoi Kusama’s magnificent Narcissus Garden (1966–present) in a still intact if ramshackle former train repair facility, dating to the time when Fort Tilden, now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, was still an active military installation. Kusama, now 89 years old and one of the...

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1,500 Yayoi Kusama Mirror Balls Beckon Beachgoers to the Rockaways Related Press 1,500 Yayoi Kusama Mirror Balls Beckon Beachgoers to the Rockaways Hyperallergic : 22 June 2018

First presented by the artist as an unofficial project outside the Italian pavilion at the 1966 Venice Biennale, Narcissus Garden (1966) consists of 1,500 reflective orbs spread throughout a space. In the work's first iteration, Kusama wore a golden kimono or red onesie and stood amid the plastic orbs alongside signs that read 'Narcissus Garden,'...

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Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Narcissus Garden’ Is Coming to the Rockaways Related Press Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Narcissus Garden’ Is Coming to the Rockaways The New York Times : 18 June 2018

Art lovers and Instagram fanatics will both have a good reason to head to the Rockaways this summer: Yayoi Kusama's shimmering Narcissus Garden will be installed there starting July 1.The work is made up of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres placed in the imposing confines of Fort Tilden, a former Army base on the beach in Queens. The spheres...

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An alternative history of abstract art Related Press An alternative history of abstract art Apollo Magazine : 25 May 2018

Surface Work, a survey show of women abstract artists across Victoria Miro’s Mayfair and Wharf Road galleries, reveals an alternative history of how much women have already achieved.From the examples of the more than 50 artists in this show–some relatively unknown and others household names–it is obvious that women approached abstraction with just...

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