Pablo Picasso, _Scène de Tauromachie_, 1957
 

The 29 year old Kusama arrived in New York in 1958, moving quickly from artist-run spaces in Manhattan to a group show at the Brooklyn Museum the following year. For the following decade she was in the vanguard of performance art in New York and her body of work drew the attention not only of the art press, but of the tabloid media, which salaciously documented her performance pieces of nude bodies covered in what were soon to be her trademark polka dots and ‘infinity nets.’ The fact that the police were often called in to carry off her public-performing collaborators only added to the interest in her work and she found a growing international audience, eager to exhibit and collect.

Kusama’s work dovetailed perfectly with the Pop Art movement in New York. Her collage work of airmail stamps of 1962 coincided with Warhol’s screenprints of Coca-Cola bottles and dollar bills. In the Kusama literature, at least, there has been some talk about who influenced whom. Given that Kusama had earlier acquired the star accoutrements – entourage, papparazzi, et al. – before Warhol had it sorted – clearly underscores her position among the New York avant-garde.

What is interesting about her work of the period is that she was able to hold her performances a variety of venues – as evidenced by her ‘Body Festivals’ in 1967 – held not only in Tompkins Square and Washington Square, but also at the Chrysler Art Museum. Clearly, her patterned paintings served as a means to further her performance ambitions and by this time (as early as 1962) her work was being shown throughout western Europe.

The present work, dating from 1967, could very well be from her solo show at the Gallerij Orez in The Hague, which staged her installation Love Room in November.

Yayoi Kusama
Accreations I (in 3 parts)

  • 1967
  • Oil on canvas
  • 27.6 x 70.9 in.

More information

each panel signed and dated 67 (verso): central panel titled on the stretcher

Provenance

  • Galerij Orez, den Haag
Jost and Barbara Herbig, Cologne
  • Private collection, London
  • Bonhams London : Tuesday, June 20, 2006, (lot56)
  • Contemporary Asian art
  • Private Collection, France
 

All works by Yayoi Kusama

 

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