Andy Warhol. Georgia O’Keeffe. Yayoi Kusama. That third name may not be as familiar as the first two, but Yayoi Kusama’s work is just as renowned, and at 83 years old, she’s still going strong. Born in 1929 in Japan, Kusama grew up with severe obsessive and suicidal tendencies. She eventually voluntarily checked in to a psychiatric home, where she has lived for the past 40 years. But out of inner turmoil comes brilliant, beautiful and moving artwork, which has shown next to pieces by Claes Oldenburg, George Segal and yes, Andy Warhol. Touted as Japan’s most prominent contemporary artist, much of her work focuses on the immersive quality of repetitive patterns and the escape that lies within. Though she has created in a vast array of media, including painting, drawing, film and performance, she most recently turned to the diverse world of RGB LED lights.
“Infinity Mirror Room,” now on display at the Tate Modern in London, is a techy take on one of the installations that made Kusama famous in the 60s. Back then, she filled a mirrored room with red polka-dotted structures, said to represent the never-ending nature of her obsessive and depressed psychological state.
Today, Kusama employed a similar idea, but instead of sculptural objects, used color-changing, dimmable LED lights and a nearby RGB controller to create a psychadelic galaxy of repetetive light that completely emvelopes the viewer. It’s a historic redux of an iconic installation that runs until June 5th 2012…if you are in London, don’t miss it!