Education Kit


03 INTRODUCTiON Ways to use this kit Curriculum Connections 05 06 07 08 09 ARTiST BiOGRaPHY ARTiST, WORLD aND ART TiMELiNE ARTiST STaTEMENT bY YaYOi KUSaMa EXHibiTiON OVERViEw KEY EXHIBITION THEMES: • Repetition and Accumulation: A Visual Language • Abstraction and Representation • Infinity • Self- Obliteration

11 CASE STUDY 1: ARTIST AS ARTWORK: YAYOI KUSAMA • Visions • Identity • Artist’s Practice: Exhibition and Performance • Critical Response • Case Study Focus Questions 16 20 25 27 30 32 ARTWORK ANALYSIS • The Moment of Regeneration (2004) • Infinity Net paintings • Women Waiting for Spring (TZW) (2005) from Love Forever (2004-07) • Walking Piece (1966) CASE STUDY 2: INFINITE SPACE: YAYOI KUSAMA AND INSTALLATION • Background • Creating the Illusion of Space: Infinity Mirror Room- Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) (1965) • Remaking a Vision: I’m Here, but Nothing (2000) • Insight to an Earlier Practice: Untitled (Mother) c.1939 • Case Study Focus Questions Learning Ideas and Focus Questions GLOSSaRY Further Reading and Resources ACkNOwLEDGEMENTS

Previous page: Yayoi Kusama FLOWERING NEW YORK [OPRT] (detail) 2005 from the series Love Forever 2004-07 silkscreen on canvas Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro Gallery, London and Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo © the artist


This resource has been produced by MCA Learning to support the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years. It is aimed at teachers and students from Primary to Secondary levels and can be adapted for Tertiary studies. It is designed for students of Visual Arts, Photographic and Digital Media. It is also relevant for English especially for the study of Visual Literacy.

THis resource oFFers:
• Insight into the artistic practice of Yayoi Kusama. • Analysis on key themes throughout the artist’s career. • Examines four seminal works included in the exhibition. • Two focus case studies • A series of focus questions and activities. Please note: This exhibition contains images of nudity. Certain exhibition content may not be suitable for younger audiences, especially Primary students. Teachers can contact MCA Learning for further information.

The material in this resource is designed to complement a visit to the exhibition and to be used in conjunction with other exhibition resources. There is a catalogue as well as a reading room located in the exhibition space. Use the images, activities and ideas to assist with pre-visit preparation, as a guide during the gallery visit and to develop postvisit activities. Teachers can adapt the artwork analysis and case studies to suit their students’ needs or integrate areas of this resource into existing classroom units of study. Key terms in bold are defined and included in the glossary at the end of this kit. A guide to additional publications and resources has been provided to assist in further study.


Audience. or talk to MCA Learning staff for further ideas. Teachers are encouraged to adapt syllabus links from the list below to suit the system of their school’s state. developing a body of work • Conceptual framework. Please use this list as a starter for planning.Artist.CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS: Primary. Students can explore the Conceptual Framework and study the Frames through engaging with the works on display as well as engaging with the development of an artist’s Body of Work.video and installation • Multimedia presentations Society and Environment • Visual Arts as reflection of contemporary culture • Visual arts as reflection of cultural and personal identity ESL/ NESB/ CALD • Developing a visual arts vocabulary list • Written and oral responses • Cultural identity and issues in the visual arts 4 . Artwork.truth and artifice • The moving image. Secondary (Secondary can Be adapted For Tertiary). For Secondary audiences the study of artworks in a gallery environment during their class visits to the MCA provides a valuable learning opportunity. Visual Arts/ Creative Arts • The role of the Curator • The role of the Contemporary Museum • Working in a series. World • Exposure to a range of artistic practice • Diversity of media and techniques • Artist’s Practice EnGlisH • Analysing Visual Texts • Oral and research skills • Response to visual stimuli • Creative writing and response • Critical essays and reviews PHotoGrapHic and DiGital Media • Allusions to popular culture including film • The photographic portrait and self-portrait • Photography and film as documentation.

L. 225 x 450 x 18 cm overall Courtesy the artist. Japan. Netherlands (2008). London and Ota Fine Arts. Her painting and sculptural works were extended into sensory environments.ARTIST BIOGRAPHY Yayoi Kusama and The Earth in Late Summer 2004 Styrol. one day. set of 50. 2000. Rotterdam. The extraordinary breadth of Kusama’s artistic career continues to be exhibited. She recalls experiencing these phenomena as early as ten years old. 1. including a work and performance at the 1993 Venice Biennale. Tatehata. She grew up whilst the country was at war and part of her adolescence was spent sewing parachutes on the home front. first exhibited at Brata Gallery in 1959. Kultermann. looking at a red flower-patterned table cloth on the table. She also staged significant performances and happenings across New York in the 1960s that addressed social and political concerns of the time. Phaidon Press Ltd. Japan in 1973. Her interests began to shift from this tradition as she began exploring her visions and hallucinations through her artwork. London. cloth. Hoptman. Kusama’s work continued to develop through accumulation and aggregation of patterns and objects. Kusama returned to Tokyo. U.1 In 1957 she moved to New York where she quickly emerged as an exciting young artist with her large Infinity Net canvases. National Museum of Modern Art. Following the war. At the 1966 Venice Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Museum of Modern Art. Pg 35 5 . wood. In 1977 she moved into the Seiwa Hospital. Tokyo and today and continues to maintain a flourishing studio practice in close proximity to the institution. Tokyo (2004-05) and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Kusama became an art student studying the traditional form of Nihonga painting. a formal Japanese technique using ground pigment and animal glues. such as the early Infinity Mirror Room-Phalli’s Field (1965). I turned my eyes to the ceiling and saw the same red flower pattern everywhere. Victoria Miro Galley. Her practice diversified to include written composition whilst she underwent treatment for ‘rijin’sho’ or depersonalization syndrome. New York (1998).500 mirrored spheres in the gardens outside the main pavilion. Yayoi Kusama. even on the window glass and posts. paint. she exhibited Narcissus Garden. A. After consecutive bouts of illness. Tokyo Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929. 1. in Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture.

1981: AIDS first identified 1989: Tianamen Square Massacre. Germany. New York.1966: Women’s Liberation movement begins. Dijon. 1945: Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. New York. 2001-2: Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Le Consortium. c. 1956: Videotape invented 1962: Andy Warhol presents silkscreen One Dollar Bill works at Green Gallery’s group show .1946: Abstract Expressionist movement begins in New York. c. 1941: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour. 1977: Takes residence in Seiwa Hospital. 1964: Driving Image Show. 2004-07: Love Forever series. France. 1948-51: Studied at the Arts and Crafts School. New York.1962: Minimalism resurfaces as a movement in reaction to Abstract Expressionism. 1966: Presents Narcissus Garden at the 33rd Venice Biennale. 1957-58: Arrived in new York and began studying at the Art Students League. China. Berlin wall come down.TIMELINE YAYOI KUSAMA 1929: Born in Nagano Prefecture. 1993: Marcel Duchamp retrospective exhibition. arriving first in Seattle. Hawaii. The Controversial Sensation Exhibition is shown at the Royal Academy of Art. 1969: First man on the moon. c. 1989: Began publishing collected poems and literary works. Tours to Berlin and New York. 1959: First exhibition of Infinity Net paintings at Brata Gallery. 1966: ‘Mirror Room’ by Lucas Samaras c. Tokyo Japan. Produced the drawing Untitled (Mother). ARTWORLD & WORLD 1924: Surrealism founded by Andre Breton in Paris. France. London. 1965: Vietnam War begins. New York. Kyoto Japan. Presents Infinity Mirror Room (Pumpkin). 1957: Moved to United States to live and work.1966: Walking Piece 1970: The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer published. 1965: Infinity Mirror Room (Phalli’s Field). New York. 1997: Beginning of Asian economic crisis. 1963: Aggregation: One Thousand Boats show at Gertrude Stein Gallery. 1962: Exhibits Accumulation soft sculptures at Green Gallery’s group show. 1973: Returns to Japan. Toured to Denmark and Korea. 2000: Yayoi Kusama retrospective exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. New York. Amsterdam. Venice. 1955: Written correspondence with American artist Georgia O’Keefe. First Sydney Biennale 1974: ‘White Australia’ policy abolished by parliament.1950: Pop Art movement gains strength in United States. c. Japan. Is the only female to take part in the widely acclaimed Nul (Zero) exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum. Begins first series of performances. United States. 1967: Referendum to allow Indigenous Australians to vote. 1939: Remembers having first series of visions and hallucinations (Age 10). 1967-69: Stages happenings and performance across New York. World War II ends. 1942-48: Training and practice in traditional Nihonga painting. 1930: The Great Depression 1939: World War II Begins 6 . 1973: Vietnam war ends. London. (Sept) 1962: Claes Oldenburg exhibits first series of soft sculptures at Green Gallery. 1993: Selected to represent Japan at the Venice Biennale. First environment exhibited at Castellane Gallery.

I have been treading a long path of my forevershining life seeking the truth. My consistent avantgarde approach to art. in which cow heads are repeatedly shown on posters all over the walls. The incredible beauty of humanity for which I say ‘Love Forever’. especially Lucas Samaras’ Mirror Room. YAYOI KUSAMA 2009 7 . I have been involved in Pop art. has exerted a great influence on the art work of American and European artists. Minimal art. It was a spontaneous and generous gesture made by the artist to all visitors experiencing her exhibition in Sydney. ‘Aggregated Earth’. I think. ‘Cellular Thinking’. I have been struggling throughout my life with this everlasting message. Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Sculpture and Andy Warhol’s Stereotypical Repetition: Cow Wallpaper. as well as in Zero in Europe. ‘Sex. An original version in Japanese is also available. but I am ever so enthusiastic now about creating art work. These are the historically famous titles Kusama invented. During the days of my never-ending life of hard work. My ever inexhaustible energies will continue to evolve as long as I live beyond the limit of my body. Food Obsession’. as well as other artists. Happenings. I developed a ‘psychosomatic syndrome’ as a result of painting too many pictures. The Museum has displayed Kusama’s text within the exhibition. giving it my all. My messaGe to tHe world: ‘Love Forever’ When I was about ten years old. These are the origins of the forms that I have been creating throughout my life ever since I can remember. I believe my aspirations will not fade away after I am gone and I want to leave it to those interested in my art as a message from Yayoi Kusama – an eternal wish for ‘peace’ and the renunciation of war based on ‘humanity’. Environments. ‘Infinite Space of the Universe’. All my life I have had aspirations for world peace and love. ‘Are There Ends in the Universe?’ among others. I may be physically getting older.ARTIST STATEMENT By Yayoi Kusama: This letter was written by Yayoi Kusama especially for her exhibition at the museum of Contemporary Art. with a deep and passionate ‘hymn of praise to humanity’. I have translated this into my work through a large number of diverse themes that include: ‘Prisoner Behind a Curtain of Depersonalisation’. while pursuing and realising my philosophy of art. ‘Driving Image’. ‘Death of Vacuum’. ‘Psychosomatic Art’. During this process. I named this phenomenon ‘stereotypical repetition’. I began painting pictures and making sculpture-like objects by lining up small pebbles from a river behind my parents’ house on the dried river bed. From now until the last day of my life. I always envision the continual and repetitive appearances and disappearances of beautygenerating hallucinations that well up in my mind. I will keep developing my creative process and my artistic philosophy while maintaining an artistic position on everything. evolving continually. ‘Longing for the Universe’. Avant-garde films and others.

fashion and design to writing and musical composition as well as her astonishing paintings. Judith Blackall Head. It reveals the coherence of her practice over many years and highlights the freshness and innovation she brings to themes she has explored consistently throughout her life. Museum of Contemporary Art. Modified from the Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years curatorial interpretation. Museum of Contemporary Art. The artist has covered every surface in myriad lines. to fuel her indefatigable creativity.C) 2003 Installation view. bodies of silkscreen canvases. inflatable forms in a darkened space. Presented in association with City Gallery Wellington. and is curated by Jaap Guldemond. are juxtaposed with the artist’s more recent installations. as well as to contemporary visual art and culture. nets and other accumulations that filled the artist’s vision from an early age. figurative and organic forms. 2009 This exhibition explores the extraordinary work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. illusion and disorientation. 2. 8 . Museum of Contemporary Art. With discipline and self-control she has harnessed the visions and hallucinations she has experienced since childhood. This exhibition includes a selection of very early works from her formative years. Love Forever created between 2004 and 2007.B. Sydney Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years has been organised by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. is presented for the first time in Australia. In these.EXHIBITION OVERVIEW 2 Yayoi Kusama Clouds 2008 and Stars Infinity (A. films. I’m Here but Nothing (2000-) and Invisible Life (all 2000) where the artist extends the concepts of reflection. (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Dijon). from dance. The exhibition reflects Kusama’s lifelong obsession with repetition and aggregation. Seungduk Kim (Le Consortium. sweeps. Clouds (2008) is an all-encompassing sculptural environment of gigantic. Her extraordinary perception. Her work has been highly influential to a new generation of artists and designers. Sydney. sculptures and environments seen in this exhibition. originality and uncompromising attitude have helped position Yayoi Kusama as one of the most acclaimed and respected contemporary artists working today. Sydney. physical and sensory perceptions. Kusama’s early sculptures and environments from the 1960s. Rotterdam) Franck Gautherot. repetition. such as Infinity Mirror Room-Phalli’s Field (1965) and her films of performances and happenings. we recognize dots. these new works are characterised by obsessive repetition. and her visual. Like the renowned Infinity Net and Dot paintings. and has worked across a range of disciplines. the Netherlands. Kusama’s recent installations include Fireflies on the Water. paintings and silkscreen works. Artistic Programs. The theme of obliteration by dots recurs throughout Kusama’s life’s work. A new suite of 50 silkscreen works on canvas. Yayoi Kusama has always been interested in creativity in a broad sense.

through techniques like patterning. with the overall sense of designs and motifs in constant re-occurrence. In Kusama’s earlier work. The beginning of the artist’s signature signs and symbols can be seen in early drawings such as Untitled (mother) c. They also function as a visual language for the viewer to interpret and engage with. Through the development of her practice. bodies and entire spaces. infinity nets and phalli. which Kusama made when she was only 10 years old. becoming reminiscent of tentacles or sea creatures.KEY THEMES This section outlines some of the artist’s recurring themes and offers insight into four significant concerns of Kusama’s art practice. REPETITION AND ACCUMULATION: A VISUAL LANGUAGE Repetition refers to the act of composing something again and again. mirroring and reflecting. spaces. The nets had the ability to act like a veil over the canvas and appeared in early paintings produced in New York from 1959. Artworks to look at: • Nets Obsession 2002 • Narcissus Garden 1966 • Women (TTWOP) 2005 from the Love Forever series ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION Kusama’s works have the ability to destabilise the viewer’s experience and allow them to slip between the recognition of various forms and structures. Her practice involves the abstraction of objects.1939. however their shapes have been elongated and warped. For Kusama this visual language has culminated in her renowned use of dots and nets. phallic forms protruded from everyday domestic objects to inhabit various environments. sculptural forms. Accumulation involves gathering together. building up and amassing forms and patterns. three works that are included in the exhibition are listed to provide direct links between artwork and practice. sculptures and even the body have become more subtly referenced in works such as Fireflies on the water (2000). repetition and accumulation function as art making techniques. where they have been reduced to tiny lights that glow on a never-ending horizon. In more recent works such as The Moment of Regeneration (2004). These themes can be used as a basic scaffolding when analysing the artist’s work. In Yayoi Kusama’s practice. environments and even bodies. Artworks to look at: • Fireflies on the Water 2000 • The Moment of Regeneration 2004 • The Earth In Late Summer 2004 9 . The dots that obliterated paintings. these anthropomorphic objects continue to be present. Under each theme. the application of dots and nets has been extended to blanket objects. These symbols also act as investigations into nonrepresentational forms of identity. She creates formal relationships with repetitive symbols and motifs such as the dots.

Kusama has continued to explore the concept of infinity by growing these works in scale and building on their kaleidoscopic effect. This theme is linked closely to the idea of infinity and the sense of limitless space and time.Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show) 1965 • Infinity Dots 2007 • Invisible Life 2000 SELF. intense patterning of the Infinity net series was eventually extended into full-blown environments. attempting to dismantle identity and free the self. Through methods of aggregation. objects and places in a blanket of dots. Kusama’s early interest in this never-ending capacity can be seen in the Infinity nets paintings begun in New York. The repetitive. others. In a number of performances and happenings during the 1960s. She has continued to explore the concept of self-obliteration in her practice through installation works like I’m here. flattening out the 3-Dimensional space into a swathe of pattern and repetition. mirroring and reflecting. she has applied dots in various sizes by sticking them down as well as painting them on. Artworks to look at: • Flower Obsession (Sunflower) 1968 • I’m here. Artworks to look at: • Infinity Mirror Room. Kusama creates a sense of inexhaustible space for the viewer. The artist has covered herself. but Nothing (2000-). but Nothing 2000 • Soaring Spirit 2008 10 .INFINITY Infinity refers to a limitless time. Kusama’s self-obliteration is strongly demonstrated through her application and repetition of dots.OBLITERATION Self-obliteration refers to Kusama’s attempt to fragment then erase the self through her art. Their body is continually fragmented and patterned across the mirrored wall surfaces into infinity and without end. Through these room-based environments and installations. The ever-present dots obliterate the living room environment. From 1963 Kusama began producing Infinity mirror rooms. space or distance that cannot be calculated.

Portrait Yayoi Kusama 2007 Courtesy the artist 11 .

the MCA has chosen one of the artist’s self-portraits for the marketing campaign for Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years. dance. Helaine.) Chadwick. Ana Mendieta and Francesca Woodman. forcing them to become inextricably linked.WORLD relationship • Artist’s Practice Kusama is an artist who has fashioned and inserted her eccentric persona and identity into her works. The severity of Kusama’s condition and her subsequent visions has been debated. MIT Press. or that her ongoing artistic practice is evidence of the artists savvy self-publicising. Posner. These images have been frequently used for publicity purposes and a number of self-portraits have been produced for this purpose as well.1. Resisting Infinity. Under each sub-heading there are ‘Secondary Checkpoints’ to assist with making connections to key syllabus areas. Mirror Images: women. ahead of her time and has staged critical feminist interventions. Playing on the artists’ fascination and obsession with narcissism. ARTIST AS ARTWORK: YAYOI KUSAMA This case study looks at performing the self. re-interpret and analyse her visions through her art making. Historically. including writing and composition. Victoria Miro. Photographic documentation of Kusama’s works is scarcely featured without the artist posing or performing. It analyses how Kusama has taken on and challenged the role of the artist in relation to her work the audience and the world. (edt. surrealism and self-representation. fashion and design. Massachusetts. . Cambridge. allowing Kusama to re-create. 3. London. Like Dali. SECONDARY SYLLABUS LINKS • Conceptual framework • Art Historical and Art Critical interpretation • Artist’s Practice ‘The destination between the self and the world is not fixed but an ever. women have been synonymous with mental illness and references to female hysteria are rampant in the western worlds art history. Applin. Rather than being a controlling ailment they have become a driving force in her art practice. Jo. The dots and nets are at the core of her practice and have become iconic symbols.ARTWORK. Whitney. Negotiating boundaries in the art of Yayoi Kusama. 1998 pp 159 12 4. Yayoi Kusama. IDENTITY SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Post-Modern and Cultural Frames • Conceptual Framework: ARTIST. This was essentially a form of controlled hallucination that allowed the artist to document his subconscious through his art making.4 The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali pioneered what he called a ‘paranoiac. It has been suggested that Kusama is either an artist who is prolific. As an artist. Kusama has also experimented with a large number of creative forms and disciplines. this creates a very unique dialogue between artist and artwork where one does not exist without the other.shifting boundary initiated in childhood and maintained throughout our lives’3 Yayoi Kusama VISIONS SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Evidence of Art Critical and Historical writing Throughout her life Yayoi Kusama has experienced visions and hallucinations of dots nets.critical method’ in his practice. London. patterns and colours. Kusama’s visions were critical in the development of her visual language. These visions began when she was a child and she continues to endure these phenomena. 2008.

sculpture. EXHIBITION & PEFORMANCE SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Post-Modern practice • Range and diversity of artistic practice In addition to painting. reminiscent of the multiple chrome spheres of Narcissus Garden. she astonished viewers. cit. She has continued to use performance to experiment with these clichés throughout her career. In 1966 when the artist first participated in the Venice Biennale she presented Narcissus Garden outdoors. Kusama’s early practice involved a number of performances and happenings throughout the 1960s.By posing in and amongst her object and environment works in the 1960s. multiplicity and rupture.500 stainless steel spheres outside. Op. Kusama’s presence at two Venice Biennales can attest to the artist’s strong links with performance and how she has challenged the role of the artist by incorporating herself into her work. Left: Yayoi Kusama at the 33rd Venice Biennale with Narcissus Garden 1966 1. Whilst the work and performance was shut down by Biennale officials. Posner. she addresses feelings of isolation and cultural displacement. In works such as Walking Piece (c. social and political concerns whilst illustrating her ability to engage with multiple creative forms. As the artist. 2009 5. These investigations of personal identity share a number of values with Surrealism. She then performed in a corresponding costume. selling off her own work. offering the pumpkin-like sculptures to viewers as they entered. Kusama produced small orange pumpkin-like sculptures. Sydney.1966) Kusama deals with the struggle to adapt to changes of self and environment and as a Japanese woman artist. Kusama drew comparisons to the feminine clichés of young.5 The artist largely explored these values during her period of living and working in New York. The controversy arose when Kusama began selling the individual mirrored spheres of the work. beautiful. the renowned Italian artist Lucio Fontana loaned her money to make the balls. innocent and exotic. Museum of Contemporary Art. including disjunction. pp 158 13 . next to the Italian pavilion. Kusama had successfully critiqued the growing trend of art festivals and fairs that pushed the buying and selling of art as a commodity. Kusama made a direct reference back to Narcissus Garden and her controversial performance. installation and environments. stating to onlookers you can buy “your narcissism”. examining her gender as well as her cultural background. Kusama was not officially selected for the exhibition but was welcomed to exhibit the 1.500 stainless steel spheres Middle and Right: Yayoi Kusama Narcissus Garden 1966 Installation view. As the official representative for Japan in 1993. within the space. These examined the artist’s personal. with the work Mirror Room (Pumpkin) (1993). collectors and galleries through this defiant act.

Pg 49-50 8. Midori and Laura Hoptman argue that her early work. Op. They can be seen as an attempt to challenge male power by appropriating the phallus as a symbol of this power. solid lace” and “advanced in concept”. sex and power.7 CRITICAL RESPONSE SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Critical interpretation • Role of the Art Critic In 1961 Kusama said her need to keep producing her paintings was “a form of my resistance” 8. Hoptman. and Kusama as an artist. Kusama’s early minimal aesthetic can be understood as a partial reaction and opposition towards the reign of Abstract Expressionism in the New York art scene. Hesse’s practice was concerned with exploring minimalist trends in sculpture using a variety of materials from fibreglass to fabric. 14 . Like Kusama.Phalli’s Field (1965) and Walking on the Sea of Death (1981). including Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg.RELATIONSHIP TO FEMINISM SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Post-Modern practice: Questioning traditional models and concepts • Conceptual Framework: ARTIST. Following on from her first solo exhibition at Brata Gallery. New York 1959. fabric objects we know. Op. cit. cit. New York. Op. Kusama’s sticker accumulations were being produced from 1962 before Warhol’s famous one-dollar bill works that bore a remarkable likeness in composition.6 There are similarities between Kusama’s feminist references and the visceral work of German. More recently critic Midori Yamamura has argued that Kusama’s work pre-dated those of a number of significant pop-artists. was marginalised for being female and Japanese. clothing and domestic objects. Her paintings were captivatingly different from those produced by popular male painters and also stood as an alternative way of seeing and making art. Today Kusama’s work has been substantially addressed from a feminist perspective. Polaine Pg 162 7.American artist Eva Hesse. As the second wave of Feminism began in the late 1960s there was a lack of adequate critical scaffolding at that time to contextualise Kusama’s work from a feminist perspective. artist and critic Donald Judd took notice of Kusama’s work and became an advocate of her practice. cit. Applin. The more recent rise of retrospective and survey exhibitions on Kusama’s practice has allowed viewers to be enlightened by her works’ pioneering references to feminism. Kusama was also producing her soft sculptures before Oldenburg’s iconic series of floppy. Hesse’s abstract references to the body were a way of examining gender. Judd described Kusama’s Infinity Net paintings as being like slabs of “massive. It has also been considered that much of the feminist undertones in her early work came from a frustration at the New York art community for allowing men to dominate in theory. criticism and practice. These accumulations are also evident in installations works such as Infinity Mirror Room. 6.WORLD relationship Kusama’s work pre-dates Feminism yet contains multiple references to domesticity and feminist concerns. Her sculptural works produced during the 1960s we completely covered with accumulations of phalli that protruded out from furniture. Kusama’s interaction with these artists was through group exhibitions at places such as Green Gallery and Gertrude Stein.

Nets on paintings. dots on sculptures. dots on sculptures. dots on sculptures.CASE STUDY FOCUS QUESTIONS: PRIMARY • As a class. Eg. Eg. Eg. When you look at the exhibition make another list as a class of where you can see these things and what they are on. Nets on paintings. When you look at the exhibition make another list as a class of where you can see these things and what they are on. Secondary • As a class. Try to identify the art form as well as what it’s covered in. 15 . Nets on paintings. When you look at the exhibition make another list as a class of where you can see these things and what they are on. Try to identify the art form as well as what it’s covered in. list the types of things Kusama has seen in her visions. • As a class. list the types of things Kusama has seen in her visions. Try to identify the art form as well as what it’s covered in. list the types of things Kusama has seen in her visions.

The polka dotted forms appear to be flourishing from the ground and unfurling towards the gallery ceiling. ‘Performing the Self: Yayoi Kusama and her Ever-Expanding Universe’. SECONDARY CHECKPOINT FRAMES ANALYSIS • STRUCTURAL: Composition. such as Infinity Mirror Room (Phalli’s Field) (1965). London. When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dot. set of 55. use of signs and symbols. we become part of the unity of our environment. Yoshimoto. Polka dots are a way to infinity. This series of sprouting. anthropomorphic forms are reminiscent of sea creatures.Yayoi Kusama The Moment of Regeneration 2004 sewn fabric.their patterning functions like a soft fabric skin that covers each form. dimensions variable Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery. What are these sculptural forms and what do they remind you of? 9. The forms could also be considered as a cluster of growths. Kusama has used urethane casting and wood to manipulate the scale and shape of these original forms. materials. In Into Performance: Japanese women artists in New York. urethane. forever turning to renew itself. paint. exotic and tropical. Midori. surging through the concrete floor of the gallery. • SUBJECTIVE: Personal opinion and interpretation. the earth and the moon whilst also symbolising the infinity of the universe. New Jersey and London. She has commented. crawling tentacles or some kind of unusual plant life. wood. 2005 Pg 72 16 . Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. The Moment of Regeneration makes reference to both life and death by emphasising these as transitional modes in nature. the dots could also symbolise an illness or an ailment. Rutgers University Press. These sculptural forms are adapted. The Moment of Regeneration is a sculptural installation comprising of 55 pieces that cluster together in the gallery space. New Brunswick. distorted and re-figured from soft sculpture accumulations in Kusama’s earlier works. The brightly coloured and dotted surfaces of The Moment of Regeneration suggest objects that are animate. The polka dot symbolism emphasises the cyclical motion of the universe. 9 Whilst the artworks title indicates a sense of renewal and growth in nature. For Kusama the polka dot has signified the sun.

The immense scale (her early works could be up to 10 metres long). Oslo Right: Yayoi Kusama Infinity Dots 2007 (detail). acrylic on canvas.without beginning. The artist employed neutral. contrasts the delicate. Kusama’s choice of scale draws attention to the labour intensive methods so often involved in her art making and her belief in the artist’s authority over the machine and emphasis on the hand made. end or centre”10. Collection Foundation Acid Cats. 17 . What appears to be monochromatic still remains textured and tonal. minimal yet detailed patterning of the nets. white and crème shades of colour to produce nets that appear almost invisible but begin to softly surface as the viewer approaches the work. This suggests a meeting of positive and negative forces (the dots as positive and the nets as negative) and as a result. developing a Body of Work • Role of the Curator: consider the placement of the works in the gallery space. 304 x 540 cm. SECONDARY CHECKPOINT •Artist working in a series. with shades of light and dark. Kusama’s initial series of Infinity nets were the first works she produced in New York during the late 1950s and early 1960s. reminiscent of lace and crochet stitching. Private collection. These works have both an endless sense of pattern and repetition that suggests infinity. Kusama’s Infinity Nets offered an alternative aesthetic that the artist considered as an equally important way of seeing and making art. The scale can also be considered a response to the grand canvases being produced by male Abstract Expressionists of the 1960s. The Infinity Net paintings are shown alongside Kusama’s infinity dot works. acrylic on canvas. cit. the dots and nets. Sydney Kusama has described the Infinity Net paintings as being “without composition. 130 x 162 cm.Left: Yayoi Kusama Infinity-Nets OQABT 2007 (detail). whilst also being confined to the measurements of the canvas. a sense of balance. This equilibrium suggests that both Kusama’s signature motifs. Applin. Op. exist in a duality.

each printed in an edition of 5. There are visual links between the Love Forever series and the ‘Imaginary Portraits’ of artist Joan Miro. the works are then transferred to silkscreen to be printed. His works during the late 1920s and early 30s were suggestive of a similar surreal landscape with repetitive linear designs. Their grid like presentation is also a salon style method of display. 2008. SECONDARY CHECKPOINT ROLE OF THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM: • At the MCA Love Forever is presented in one of the gallery’s double height spaces. suggesting a universal female identity. In regards to this series of work Kusama said. Kusama has layered multiple feminine profiles that appear absent of distinguishing features such as dimples. in order to create an immersive environment.Yayoi Kusama Women Waiting for Spring (TZW) 2005 from the series Love Forever 2004-07 silkscreen on canvas 130. 18 .11 Yayoi Kusama In Women Waiting for Spring (TZW) (2005). In the vocabulary of my generation this is called ‘environment’. patterning and organic forms. 11. she would work for forty or fifty hours at a time. Like Kusama’s iconic net and dot paintings. The series is hung on all four walls of the space in accordance to Kusama’s design. Yayoi Kusama in conversation with Glen Scott Wright. child-like bodies and long-lashed eyes. These eyes form a blanket covering that obliterates the faces. Kusama initially draws the images onto canvas using a marker pen.3 x 162 cm Courtesy the artist and Yayoi Kusama Studio. My plan was to display a large number of black and white canvases in a space. sketching and doodling obsessively and intensely. This is an attempt to create a world by showing the rectangular-shaped canvases collectively. coloured hair or even eyebrows. London. Instead these faces in profile are filled with heavily patterned and densely accumulated eyes. Yayoi Kusama. The images on each canvas move between abstraction and figuration and include female faces in profile. Like a stream of consciousness. the obsessive repetition and accumulations in the Love Forever series becomes another form of the artist’s patterning. Victoria Miro. emphasising the enormity of the series as well as the labour intensity of her practice. She sights this process as being essential to the durability and conservation of the image. Tokyo Love Forever is a series of 50 black and white silkscreen print canvases.

Kusama has assumed the role of the exotic. and gender. Walking Piece reveals how Kusama’s persona and identity had become an integral part of her art practice that has continued to be explored throughout her career and through various other performances and happenings.Yayoi Kusama Walking Piece 1966 set of 24 colour slides transferred to DVD Courtesy the artist and Yayoi Kusama Studio. buildings and suburbs of New York. SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Post-Modern Practice • Conceptual Framework: ARTIST. she skirts around the streets under a parasol covered in flowers. Against the prices per kilo of green beans and the cost of meat pies. Kusama immediately draws attention to her isolation by contrasting her exotic. Tokyo Walking Piece (c. cit.WORLD relationship 12/ Op.12 In one image. it appears she starts to cry. In another still. her character stands out against the mass produced grid of supermarket advertising.1966) sees Kusama traversing the streets of New York in traditional Japanese dress. Pg 54 19 . whilst also using it to promote herself as an artist and her artwork. Hoptman. it can also be considered a commentary on a cultural stereotype. The artist’s cultural displacement also highlights issues of race. Critic Laura Hoptman has argued that this method of Kusama’s practice uses satire to play up a clichéd female character. It is an example of the artist’s approach to dealing with the subsequent struggles of living and working in foreign environment whilst successfully examining the role of the artist in providing social and cultural commentary.at the time both of these aspects of her identity made it increasingly difficult for success in the art world. Oriental woman in the work and as this feminine cliché. The original work was documented in 24 colour slides and each slide is a still image of the unfolding performance. grided brick wall. the artist draws distinction between a busy grocery shopfront of advertisements and the delicate foreign woman she embodies. covering her face with the sleeves of her kimono she leans against a harsh.ARTWORK. colourful kimono against the faded streets. Whilst Walking Piece can be understood as an insight into the isolation felt by the artist.

2009 . 20 Museum of Contemporary Art. furniture. ultra violet fluorescent light. household objects.dot sheet.Yayoi Kusama I’m here but Nothing 2000. dimensions variable Installation view. Sydney.

2. and then exhibited at Castellane Gallery. 21 . happenings and installation in New York during the 1960s. INFINITE SPACE: YAYOI KUSAMA AND INSTALLATION This case study examines two of Kusama’s major installation artworks. Applin. board.Phalli’s field (floor show) 1965 Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Room. Kusama’s installation practice was a natural extension from her initial painting and sculptural works that explored her obsession with repetition. with the floor covered in a bed of red and white polka dotted soft-sculptural forms. Samaras was also involved in performance.Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show) (1965) is a mirrored environment of reflection. entangling themselves in one another. 1963 Kusama has previously collaborated with museums. mirror room 250 x 455 x 455 cm Courtesy the artist and Yayoi Kusama Studio. painting and sculpture practice. BACKGROUND The exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years features six selected room environments the artist has produced since 1965. This reflective environment was initially created in her studio.13 Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room. cit. similar to the visions the artist has experienced throughout her life. as both seem to meld into one. demonstrating how these installations are an extension of her drawing. The artist states: My nets grew beyond myself and beyond the canvases I was covering with them. As a completely mirrored room alluding to infinite space. Like Kusama. Kusama’s installations allow them to experience a dizzying and hallucinatory environment. Critic Lucy Lippard has spoken of Kusama’s 3-dimensional environments as having an emphasis on Surrealism and the body.Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show) 1965 sewn stuffed fabric. The reflective mirrored walls and the ground’s plush and colourful carpet creates the sense of infinity and endless space. She creates illusions of space through techniques like the use of mirrors and the intense repetition of her signature polka dots. They began to cover the walls and the ceiling and finally the whole universe. They become part of the work as their image is fragmented across the mirrored walls and obliterated into a patterned vista. New York in 1965. 13. infinity and self-obliteration. A lost sense of background and foreground is experienced.Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show) uses tactile sculptural forms and reflective surfaces to entice the viewer into a bizarre sensory experience. that included a reflective table and chair setting. Yayoi Kusama. Op. Tokyo Infinity Mirror Room. It links their development to one of the artist’s earliest works. builders. Kusama’s work predates artist Lucas Samaras’ Mirrored room (1966). architects and Government bodies to carry out large-scale works in galleries and public spaces. accumulation. curators. For the audience. These forms vary in size and protrude upwards and around. excerpt from an interview with Gordon Brown for WABC radio. dissolving the viewer’s sense of space. CREATING THE ILLUSION OF SPACE: Infinity mirror room.

Sydney. over furniture and even on old books and records.on ultra-violet neon dots that glow under UV fluorescent light. But Nothing as a typical 1950s Australian living room. The original artwork simulated a traditional 1950s Japanese living room space and since 2000 has been multiple versions and interpretations. across the walls. household objects.000 dots were used in the installation and applied by the artist’s studio assistants over 3 days. Museum of Contemporary Art. appears hauntingly empty. In a way the space has contracted a beautiful yet isolating sickness and the neon dots represent its symptoms. The furniture and objects have been sourced across Sydney in order to complete the installation. Museum of Contemporary Art. dimensions variable Installation view. ultra violet fluorescent light. They completely cover every surface of the environment. Sydney. Sydney. 2009 22 . furniture. I’m Here. but Nothing. REMAKING A VISION I’m here. completely blanketing the floor space. February 2009 Top Right: Etsuko Sakurai from the Yayoi Kusama Studio installing fluorescent dots within I’m here. Museum of Contemporary Art. but Nothing. The soft sculptured floor covering is in tiled pieces that are laid in a grid format. a custom sized space is constructed to house the work. When the viewer enters the work they experience a flattening out of 3-dimensional space and a sense of obliteration. The audience has the opportunity to walk around the setting and absorb the work’s domestic situation that even obliterated by glowing dots. But Nothing allows the audience to understand a similar state of hallucination that has previously been experienced by the artist. 150. Top Left: Installing I’m here.dot sheet. Sydney. but nothing (2000). February 2009 Bottom left and Right: Yayoi Kusama I’m here but Nothing 2000. Rather than projecting the image of dots onto the furniture. but nothing (2000) In a collaboration between Kusama and the Museum of Contemporary Art. the museum has re-interpreted the environment I’m here. Kusama uses stick. The installation has specific dimensions and every time it’s exhibited. Through this work Kusama makes direct reference to her psychological condition and the visions she has experienced since childhood.This installation was remade by the artist in 1998 and has been previously exhibited at the MCA during the 2000 Sydney Biennale and located in the level 1 gallery. In 2009 the artist and the MCA have reconfigured I’m Here.

1939 offer a unique insight into the development of the artist’s practice.1939 pencil on paper. this interest would grow into large-scale paintings. Completed when Kusama was only 10 years old. installations. sculptural forms.8 x 22. Tokyo SECONDARY CHECKPOINT • Role of the contemporary art museum • Post-Modern practice: collaboration with institution. but Nothing and the very early work Untitled (mother) c.INSIGHT TO PRACTICE AND PROCESS Untitled (Mother) c. this drawing demonstrates the beginnings of a much later visual vocabulary of dots and nets that would become Kusama’s signature symbols to explore herself and her identity through her art. dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono and covered with dots. performances and happenings staged throughout her career. As the exhibition demonstrates. this problematic time in the artist’s life is a significant point investigated through her art making. 24. but Nothing alludes back to the artist’s difficult childhood and the overbearing presence of her mother. Kusama’s intimate portrait was the beginning of future attempts to understand and examine the idea self-obliteration. Untitled (Mother) is an intimate portrait of the artist’s mother. Yayoi Kusama Untitled c. As the earliest work included in the exhibition.1939 Links between I’m here.5 cm Courtesy the artist and Yayoi Kusama Studio. On the reverse there is also a still life drawing of a vase of flowers blanketed in net motifs. Kusama’s choice to pursue a career as an artist in post-war Japan was not initially supported by her family. Coupled with the visions and hallucinations that started at a young age. re-interpretation of previous work • Subjective Frame: confused sensory experience of the viewer in Kusama’s environments 23 . environments. Kusama’s specific choice of a domestic environment in I’m Here.

CASE STUDY FOCUS QUESTIONS: PRIMARY • View the work Untitled (c. But Nothing (2000). But Nothing (2000-). After visiting the work. Identify who or what comprises these agencies in you answer. but Nothing (2000-). What has changed and what remains the same? • Describe the relationship between the artwork and the audience in I’m Here. 24 . Who could the portrait be of? What pattern is covering the portrait? Then view the artwork I’m Here. where is this pattern and how has it changed from the drawing? SECONDARY • Discuss Kusama’s collaboration with the MCA to re-interpret the work I’m Here. list the differences between the typical Australian living room displayed in the work and the contemporary living space you have a home today.1939) and identify how the artist has made this work.

e. Do you look the same or different to how you look in your mirror at home? Sit down in the gallery and remember what you looked like. dots reflected in mirrors etc. on soft sculptures. This can be broadened to why this artist makes artworks and what she makes them about. On a cut out circle of paper. paintings. sculptures). how many different ways did the artist use dots? (i.e.visit: • Look up Japan and the City Matsumoto. •PRACTICAL ACTIVITY: Visit the work Invisible Life (2000). Look closely at patterns and colours and describe these. Look closely at your reflection in the mirrors. Ask the students to name these forms as they go. As a class. person or even their pet and cover them using the polka dot pattern.) • PRACTICAL ACTIVITY: Look at the portrait drawing you did in the gallery. • PRACTICAL ACTIVITY: Visit the work The Moment of Regeneration (2004). dots). In the gallery: • Whilst moving through the gallery. place. use these dots as well as the portrait dots done in the gallery.) • What are some of the patterns we looked at? (i. identify the different types of artworks Yayoi Kusama has made (eg. on paintings. cut out lots of different sized and coloured polka dots. draw what you remember of your reflection in the mirrors. drawings. Post. to cover a section of your classroom.e. where Yayoi Kusama was born. when you had to remember what your reflection looked like in the mirrors of Invisible Life (2000). paintings.visit: • Identify what was seen as a group.LEARNING IDEAS & FOCUS QUESTIONS PRIMARY Pre. sculptures etc. What are some of the things that make Japan different to Australia? And what are some of the similarities between these countries? • Discuss what is in an art museum and what we are going to see. Nagano. mediums) did the artist make artworks with? (Eg. what forms (i. 25 . in a single line move through the corridors. What could these strange objects be? Get each student to draw an everyday object.

SECONDARY (Years 7-10) Pre. Use these examples and well as your own opinion to critically review the exhibition. -SUBJECTIVE: The artist did live performances and staged “happenings” in New York during the 60s.e. For example: -STRUCTURAL: The artist uses dots and nets in her paintings. Compare and contrast your responses as a group. How does this differ from reading about this particular work or seeing images of it in a book? Write about and describe one of your experiences in a Kusama environment. Look in newspapers. Write a paragraph analysing it through the structural frame and another paragraph through the subjective frame. discuss how artists make and develop a body of work. • As a class. What forms have been revisited and what methods of display has Kusama used? How has the artist responded to the gallery space through this installation? • View the work Walking Piece (c. -POST-MODERN: The artist has experimented with costume. sculpture and installation). what other artists do you know that make artwork from more than one medium? (i. size. – Artist works with a variety of creative forms. Discuss how the work uses signs and symbols to suggest a sense of isolation and displacement. fashion and has also written books. • Look at Narcissus Garden (1966) and Soaring Spirit (2008). medium etc.visit • Discuss Kusama’s room environment works: focus on your subjective response as a viewer. -CULTURAL: The artist was born in Japan and studied traditional Japanese painting techniques. Discuss how the artist has employed her visual vocabulary in these works. why and how do artists do this? Yayoi Kusama is an artist who works across a variety of forms. • Individually collect reviews and articles published on the Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years exhibition. taking note of the title. • Revise the structural frame focusing on signs/ symbols and why and how artists develop a visual vocabulary? How do we look for and identify these? In the gallery: •ACTIVITY: Focus on one of the artist’s room environments. magazines and art journals for these and keep them in your VAPD (Visual Arts Process Diary). painting and video. 26 . – The artist’s cultural background and identity.1966) and identify how the artist has documented this performance. –Personal signs/symbols.visit: • Research task: Find out one piece of information on the artist and/or her artworks that would be relevant to each of the FRAMES and identify why. – An emotional response to what was going on around her. Post.

symbols. artists and exhibitions that took place or were present at this time. Is there a relationship between the artist’s practice and significant events in history? Include a brief description as well as dates of significant artworks and exhibitions.e. conduct contextual research into the New York art scene during the 1950s and 60s. the curator states that Kusama’s earlier works have been juxtaposed with the artist’s more recent work in order to reflect on life long themes and concerns in her practice. art and world timeline in this resource. summarise the key moments in the Kusama’s career whilst also considering other artists and the world around her. • As a class. How do these features support the meaning of the artworks? Post. Take note of different lighting techniques. Focus on significant movements. • How does Kusama’s work address feminist concerns? Locate 2 artworks that could be argued to contain a feminist perspective. On one hand her clear-cut visual vocabulary seeks to de-lineate the image with dots. methods or objects has Kusama used to draw attention to this? • Write down your observations of the gallery space. analyse how successful you think the exhibition is in terms of this curatorial approach. Be specific i.visit: • In the exhibition’s curatorial interpretation. • Art critic Jo Applin has argued that Kusama’s work has a complex relationship with Minimalism.SECONDARY (Years 11-12) Pre-visit: • Using the artist. In the gallery: • Develop a list of all the forms that Kusama’s art has taken throughout her career. Discuss this statement as a group then individually write a response that addresses this argument in relation to 3 of Kusama’s works you have seen. 27 . On the other hand the “serial repetition” in Kusama’s practice can be considered obsessive and linked with Surrealism. Use the timeline and biography you have compiled to support your argument with examples. nets and abstracted reflections. including the design features and display methods used throughout the exhibition. What materials. Walking Piece is a performance that has been documented by a series of 24 colour slides. coloured walls and the presence of written information on the works. Compile an image library to represent this period. Identify characteristics that relate to and differ from Minimalism and Surrealism and use the frames to analyse relevant signs. Incorporating your observations from the gallery visit. motifs and forms. • Discuss the importance of artist’s practice in making/developing a body of work.

Infinity Infinity refers to a limitless time. activity. Domesticity Refers to a household act. massive forms. Cliché Anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse. which arose in the 1950s. Its characteristics include an anti-figurative aesthetic.GLOSSARY OF TERMS Abstract Expressionism Abstract expressionism was an American post–World War II art movement. spontaneity or the impression of spontaneity in painting and sculpture. reduced compositions or simple. theories and philosophies. Aggregation A total or collection of things added together. Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko. Hallucination A visual. Disjunction A disconnection of joined parts or things. duty or chore. Anthropomorphic Ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human. 28 . Usually resulting from a mental disorder or as a response to a drug. or the process of adding them together. Collaborate In art terms refers to the process of working with another person or group in order to realize a creative project. often a series of discontinuous events involving audience participation. which are concerned with gender difference and the equality for women. such as scientist or engineers. formerly occupied by Paris. auditory or tactile experience or perception that has a compelling sense of reality. Artists involved in the movement include Jackson Pollock. Hysteria An emotionally unstable state brought about by a traumatic experience. space or distance that cannot be calculated. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve worldwide influence and also the one that put New York City at the centre of the art world. Happening An unconventional dramatic or artistically orchestrated performance. Minimalist artists detail and gesture and used pure. This could be other artists as well as professionals from completely different industries. and the campaign for women’s rights and interests. Minimalism A non-representational style in sculpture and painting. Feminism Is a discourse that involves various movements.

including China and Japan. Motif A recurring subject. especially irony and sarcasm. Narcissism A fascination with oneself. Self. Significant artists include Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. place or object. Phenomenon Something that is perceived or experienced and can be considered truly extraordinary and marvellous. Post-modern A late 20th century style and concept in the arts. These new forms of expression were a response in changes to technology. Site specific Refers to an artwork created for. Satire The use of wit. to a specific space. Oriental Referring to persons from countries in Eastern Asia. It challenged tradition by asserting an artist’s use of the mass-produced visual commodities and is characterised by themes and techniques drawn from popular culture. Pop Pop art is a movement that emerged in the late 1950s in the United States. theme or idea that can take the shape of a distinctive form in an artwork or design. vanity. 29 . Multiplicity The state of being multiple or varied. A considerable number or variety. Obliteration Something that is erased or obscured. Stereotype An oversimplified or standardised image or idea of a person. or the breaking apart of something.obliterate Refers to Kusama’s attempt to fragment then erase the self through her art. Refers to the male sexual organ as the generative power in nature. architecture and criticism. excessive self-love. leaving no trace. conscious use of earlier styles and conventions and the incorporation of images relating to the consumerism and mass communication of society. Monochromatic One colour or the use of tones in only one colour.Modernism A style or movement in 20th century arts. Typical features include a deliberate mixing of styles and media. Rupture A break in. Phalli The plural of phallus. to critique or make a comment. which consciously rejected classical or traditional forms and searched for new modes of expression. or in response. travel and ideas exchanged in the late 19th century across Western Europe.

the unconscious and feature the element of surprise. Urethane Urethane is a family of rubber and plastic materials that are used for making molds. 30 . literature and cultural beliefs that began in the early-1920s in Europe. Urethane rubber is widely known for its durable properties. Venice Biennale The Venice Biennale is a major international and contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice. being abrasion-resistant and extremely malleable. unexpected juxtapositions. Visceral Relating to or affecting the body.Surrealism Surrealism is a movement that spans visual art. It began in 1895 and is the world’s longest running Biennale. Characteristics include the exploration of self. Italy.

surrealism and self-representation. Australian Art collector Magazine. London. MIT Press. February 1999. (edt. Hartney. U. New Brunswick. 1998. Artforum. October 2008. Posner. Ruth. Izumi. McCarthy). Eleanor. Griselda. Yayoi. ‘Hustlers Grotto: Three Novellas’. 1997. ‘Maurizio Cattelan. Yayoi Kusama. ‘Yayoi Kusama: Eternity-Modernity’. Victoria Miro Gallery. ‘Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958-68’. ‘Dot dot dot: Artforum Profile Yayoi Kusama’. Into Performance: Japanese women artists in New York. Skilbeck. Jo. Rutgers University Press. No. Art In America Magazine. Dijon. Tatehata. Yoshimoto. ‘Yayoi Kusama’ (exhibition review). New Jersey and London. Ana Mendieta and Francesca Woodman’. Andrew. Douglas. Mirror Images: women. Cambridge. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Koplos. Rotterdam/ Le Consortium. (Exhibition catalogue) Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 2006.) Pollock. Phaidon Press inc. Oxford. France. Yayoi Kusama. 2008. 59. ‘Art & Today’. 1998. Les presses du reel. 2000. (edt. London 2008. 2005.) Chadwick. 2004. ‘The self and the world: negotiating boundaries in the art of Yayoi Kusama. Heingartner. 2009. (Exhibition catalogue). Phaidon Press Ltd. FurtHer ReadinG Applin. February 1997. (Exhibition catalogue). Berkeley. Issue 47 January. Solomon. 2000. Janet. The Parkett Series with Contemporary Artists. L. Yayoi Kusama. Wandering Mind Books. Kusama. Midori. ‘’Yayoi Kusama between Abstraction and Pathology’. 31 . Helaine. National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Hoptman. Whitney. London. Kara Walker’. ‘Resisting Infinity’. Nakajima. (Translated by Ralph F. Frieze Magazine. A. ‘Infintiy Nets and Polka Dots’. Psychoanalysis and the image: transdisciplinary perspectives.March 2009. Kultermann. California. Massachusetts.FURTHER READING & RESOURCES ExHiBition Resources ‘Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years’. ‘The Phoenix Returns’.

nytimes.nytimes.au/collection/contemporary_asian_art/yayoi_kusama http://www.html?res=9907E7D61630F936A15756C0A9619C8B63 http://query.roslynoxley9.com/gst/fullpage.gov.boijmans.php?artist_id=3315&section_id=bibliography 32 .com/gst/fullpage.yayoi-kusama.coolhunting.au/artists/49/Yayoi_Kusama/profile/ http://www.WeB resources http://www.nytimes. jp http://www.nl/en/7/kalender/calendaritem/97 http://query.php http://qag.html?res=9B0DEFDE1631F933A25754C0A96E958260&sec=&spon=&pagewant ed=2 http://www.qld.com/archives/2007/08/yayoi_kusama.moma.com.org/collection/details.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0DEEDE163AF932A15754C0A9669C8B63 http://query.

Justine McLisky and Emma Nicolson. All images courtesy the artist and Yayoi Kusama Studio. Isabel Finch. Thanks to Judith Blackall. MCA Educator. Curated by Jaap Guldemond (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen). © the artist 33 . Tokyo. Education kit written by Kate Scardifield. France) and presented in association with City Gallery Wellington.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years is organised by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. the Netherlands. Franck Gautherot and Seungduk Kim (Le Consortium in Dijon.