Yayoi Kusama who is in her mid-80s has lived through, played a part in, and was influenced by various art movements over the course of her life, but one recurring motif she is known for are spots. Frances Morris, curator of Kusama at Tate Modern said, ‘her spots are ubiquitous and instantly recognizable.

Arch2o-I Who Have Arrived In Heaven Yayoi Kusama  (8)

Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama

Kusama described in her own words that she started ‘to paint using polka dots and nets as motifs at around age ten, and created fantastic paintings in watercolors, pastels and oils.’ Although her work is not limited to one scale, media, or nature, she imagines spots in everyday life, and over the years she has expressed that in different ways.

Arch2o-I Who Have Arrived In Heaven Yayoi Kusama  (13)

Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama

This past November and December, Kusama had a solo exhibition in David Zwirner Gallery in New York. The display took over all three galleries in Chelsea, showcasing 27 new paintings, a video installation, and two of her famous Infinity Rooms. The exhibition was titled ‘I Who Have Arrived In Heaven.’ This time, her spots have evolved to spheres in these mirrored rooms.

Arch2o-I Who Have Arrived In Heaven Yayoi Kusama  (7)

Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama

I think that although spots are a recurring motif, the recurring theme would be repetition and pattern. Sometimes that involves spots but mostly it involves a combination of elements with spots being the most recognizable of those elements. Perhaps her studies can be seen as those of a repetition of a singular element and seeing what that creates.

Arch2o-I Who Have Arrived In Heaven Yayoi Kusama  (9)

Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama

Her spots have taken a step further with the Infinity Rooms, because now she has taken a pattern and created double of it. Artists take their view of the world and express it to an audience. Kusama literally created infinite spots, lending her audience a view into her world, an imagined world, for them to occupy. The result is an ethereal atmosphere that is truly astounding.

By Aiysha Alsane

Courtesy of Yayoi Kusama

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