The first known photograph of Kusama as a small child is an arresting image: her beautiful face with its grave expression appears above a cluster go gigantic dahlias, each bloom larger than her small head. Flowers have continued to populate Kusama's imaginary since the beginning of her career, and it is evident that the monstrous flower sculptures of today have their origins in the surrealistic specimens that pervade the landscapes of her early paintings.
Nicknamed the Polka Dot Princess by the paparazzi in the 1960s when she lived in New York City,Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Japan in 1929. Like other great women artists such as Louise Bourgeois or Eva Hesse, Kusama has a very distinctive and individual place in the history of contemporary art. With her unrivaled eye of color, pattern and sinuous baroque form, the avant-garde artist developed Flowers That Bloom at Midnight - an exuberant series of fifteen unique sculptures cast in fiberglass reinforced plastic and painted by hand - following major permanent sculptural commissions for public, among them Tulipes de Shangri-La (2003), Lille, France, and The Hymn of Life: Tulips (2007), Beverly Hills City Council, Los Angeles.
Yayoi Kusama lives and works in Tokyo. Her work is collected by leading museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; LACMA, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London, and many more.
Flowers That Bloom at Midnight is currently on view at the Jardins des Tuileries, Paris.
December 1, 2011 - Spring 2012
Flowers That Bloom at Midnight
A look at the "Yayoi Kusama" exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, a retrospective of the artist's work since her departure from Japan.