Yayoi Kusama (Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series) by  Catherine Taft & Laura Hoptman

Yayoi Kusama (Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series) by Catherine Taft & Laura Hoptman

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Yayoi Kusama has been obsessively and nearly incessantly creating artwork since the 1950s. The Japanese artist exhibited her first signature "Infinity Net" painting--a large canvas covered with a hypnotic array of little dots--in New York City in 1959. Since then she's shown her work the world over. Kusama's long career has overlapped the surrealist, expressionist, and pop-art movements, to name just a few, and though she has drawn inspiration from some of these sources, she has remained steadfastly focused on her own artistic vision. Her collections of wriggling, overstuffed spongy tubes overtaking floors, pieces of furniture, and rowboats; the polka dots covering her Infinity Net paintings, mirrored rooms, mannequins, and even her own skin; the mottled, gourdlike sculptures she installs in mirrored rooms--all of these visual motifs recur consistently in her work and evoke both Western and Eastern aesthetic influences.Yayoi Kusama is one of Phaidon's contemporary artists series, which includes, among others, books on Thomas Sch++tte, Jeff Wall, and Jessica Stockholder. Yayoi Kusama features an interview with Kusama in which she discusses her lifelong mental illness and her love affair with Donald Judd, along with the anti-establishment art "happenings" she staged in Manhattan in the 1960s and the major themes in her work. A pictorial survey, a collection of her own writing, and a Takuboku Ishikawa poem she selected to accompany her work round out the volume. This is a highly recommended book for readers already familiar with Kusama's oeuvre and those interested in learning more about this important artist. --Jordana Moskowitz