This Post features mostly Yayoi Kusama's 1980s works. By this time she has moved back to Tokyo. She left New York in 1973. Her mental health had declined after the death of her closest friend, Joseph Cornell, the American Surrealist artist, in 1972. On her return to Japan, she was considered to have been 'westernised', so little interest was shown in her work initially. She had to work on a small scale again as she did in the 1950s because she did not have access to a large studio. By the 1980s though she is beginning to show in Tokyo galleries which prompts her to work on a large scale again.
These paintings make reference to the microscopic and macroscopic worlds 'spanning the smallest and biggest things: cell division and galaxies'. (NOTE: the didactic boards in this exhibition were a mine of information on Yayoi Kusama's work - volumes of it actually - I am just sharing a little with you.)
The pumpkin was a new motif which appeared in Yayoi Kusama's work at the beginning of the 1980s. The pumpkin is yellow whose surface is covered with dense patterns of black dots. It appears in painting, sculptures and installations.
In her words: 'The first time I ever saw a pumpkin was when I was in elementary school and went with my grandfather to visit a big seed-harvesting ground. Here and there along a path between a field of zinnias, periwinkles, nasturtiums I caught a glimpse of the yellow flowers and baby fruit of pumpkin vines. I stopped to lean in for a closer look, and there it was: a pumpkin the size of a man's head. I parted a row of zinnias and reached in to pluck the pumpkin from its vine. It immediately began speaking to me in a most animated manner......'
A happy shot of Philip and I in one of Yayoi Kusama's Mirror Rooms.
Yayoi Kusama invited all visitors to add spots to this installation. We accepted the invitation.