COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Yayoi Kusama

High Heels by Yayoi Kusama

One of the most fascinating personalities of 20th century art, Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), was feted with a retrospective of her work at Le Centre Pompidou, Paris from October 10, 2011 to January 9, 2012. The chronological exhibit of about 150 of Kusama’s works will travel to the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Tate in London, and The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Each institution will highlight a different aspect of Kusama’s work. If Gagosian has already convinced you to visit Damien Hirst at each one of the gallery’s branches around the world, why not do the same on the occasion of Kusama’s retrospective?

The curators at Centre Pompidou placed particular emphasis on the artist’s sculptural work and her monochromes. Her fascination with the dot, prevalent in all her work and throughout her career, is a surprising manifestation of Kusama’s effort to remain grounded during her hallucinations, child-like even in her old age, and unique even if her work shares physical and conceptual common ground with Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Fluxus, or Street Happenings. Yet, her work remains marginalized and understudied.

A hybrid of two cultures, American and Japanese, and a woman in a male-dominated art world, Kusama remains playful and irreverent in all her work. Most notably, she remains dedicated to the process of the medium she chooses to work with, which explains the great tactile quality of all her paintings and sculptures. Either book your ticket for Madrid or London, or simply wait for the arrival of her work at The Whitney Museum of American Art. If her work interests you, there are still opportunities to acquire Kusama’s prints.

© Thomaï Serdari