Known best for her iconic polka-dot pieces, Yayoi Kusama’s life story is as interesting as her artwork. Born in rural Japan, she experienced a hard childhood and developed mental health problems early in her life. In 1948, she started art college in Kyoto, but hated the rigid and strict teaching systems. She was inspired to break free and create her own style, and began covering walls, floors and household objects with polka dots.
At 27, after writing to Georgia O’Keefe, she moved to New York, where she rapidly achieved success and recognition as part of the city’s artistic avant-garde in the early 1960s.
The exhibition at the Tate presents and interesting mix of the iconic polka dot pieces, along with lesser-known works and other media. Most notable of the non-polka dot pieces are her “Infinity Nets”, paintings created in her early days in New York, and formed from thousands of arcs of paint. Another highlight is a more recent installation piece – a mirrored room filled with sparkling multicoloured orbs.
9 February – 5 June 2012
Sunday to Thursday, 10.00–18.00. Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00. Last admission into exhibitions 17.15 (Friday and Saturday 21.15).
£10 (£8.50 concessions)
Free for Tate Members
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