Updated: Oct 16
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. Her work is based on conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism. I have nothing but respect for this artist who has had a steadfast commitment to her art like few others. It seems to have taken every minute of her 88+ years to achieve the status of one of the most highly sought after artists in the world, and the top selling female artist. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama came to the United States in 1957 after an exchange of letters with the artist Georgia O'Keeffe, who encouraged her. She quickly found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. Navigating the art scene in NY is a daunting task for any artist at any time, but at that time it was very much a world of a few big name stars like Andy Warhol and Frank Stella. It took her many decades of perseverance (the word of the week) to have her work shown in galleries, and to gain acceptance. After achieving fame through groundbreaking exhibitions and art “happenings,” she returned to her native country in 1973 and is now one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists. Her installations, paintings, sculptures, and interactive pieces have been on exhibition at all of the major museums and galleries including the Venice Biennale . She has been the recipient of numerous international awards and prizes including, The Education Minister's Art Encouragement Prize and Foreign-Minister's Commendations ,the Asahi Prize,the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,and the Nagano Governor Prize (for the contribution in encouragement of art and culture), the National Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Order of the Rising Sun, the Praemium Imperiale Painting Prize and the Golden prize from the Italian Academy of Arts.
CLASS PROJECTS INSPIRED BY KUSAMA:
TOTALLY DOTTY MIXED MEDIA COLLAGES AND FLOWER SCULPTURES
KUSAMA INSPIRED UNDERSEA CREATURES:
MIXED MEDIA PRINT LESSON: