First Solo Exhibition of Yayoi Kusama in Berlin
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First Solo Exhibition of Yayoi Kusama in Berlin
Yayoi Kusama, GOLD SHOES, 2000, Schuhe, Baumwolle und Spraylack, 25,4 x 25,4 x 12,7 cm. 28 Schuhe pro Set.

BERLIN, GERMANY.- Arndt & Partner are pleased to present the first solo show of the artist Yayoi Kusama in Berlin. Yayoi Kusama is one of the most multifaceted and internationally successful female artists in Japan. With her colourful polka dot installations, pictures and objects she has been a sensation since the 1960s. The artist, who became known in Europe as the “Polka Dot Princess“, covers her world entirely with brightly coloured dots: entire rooms, furniture and people melt into a whirlpool of “Polka Dots”.

Yayoi Kusama, born in 1929 in Japan, belongs to a generation of artists who in the 60s and 70s aspired to an increased awareness in order to achieve political, social and sexual freedom. She made an early break from the traditional Japanese way of life. In 1957 she went to New York in order to study at the “Art Students’ League“and emigrated to the USA in 1960 where she lived, first in Seattle and then in New York. In 1966 she adopted American citizenship. Yayoi Kusama returned to Japan in 1974 and has lived and worked since then in a psychiatric clinic. She is represented worldwide in the most important international museums.

Of the hallucinatory origin of her art in her childhood, the artist once said: “I was looking at the red pattern of the table cloth and when I glanced up the same red pattern covered the ceiling, the window and the walls, and finally the whole room, my body and the universe. I began to disappear and found myself again in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of the surface. I reduced myself to an absolute nothing“.

Kusama’s pictures and installations are cosmic. They have neither a beginning nor an end. The obsessive repetition of a motif creates a hypnotic effect on the observer, who cannot escape its magnetic pull. Consequently the current works and motifs appear as fresh and original as those of the 60s.

The multiplicity of Kusama’s work is constantly surprising. Alongside the net and trellis-like structures and dots, which often lend her work a Pop Art aspect, she developed three-dimensional “protuberances” which play on the symbolism of the phallus. With their psychologically inspired formal language and their soft, fabric-like, flesh-coloured nature, these objects are among the first “soft sculptures“. Kusama calls these objects “Sex Obsession“. They are combined with everyday objects to form assemblages and then coated in gold or silver.

Further highlights of her work are the installations and objects with mirrors. Kusama produces entire rooms with mirrors, in which the observer and the environment melt into one another. They reflect into infinity, in order, finally, to dissolve.

Kusama’s world is full of amazement and joy. There is something childlike about her, something dreamy, something liberating, but which tells also of the pain of not being able to escape death.

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