Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama / Japan, b.1929 / Infinity nets 2000 / Synthetic polymer paint on canvas / The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 2001 with funds from The Myer Foundation, a project of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899–99, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.

Yayoi Kusama's painterly output is vast, propelled by a compulsive and therapeutic relationship to the activity of painting itself. Suffering from 'rijin'sho', or depersonalisation syndrome, Kusama's art triggers visual experiences that metaphorically communicate the hallucinations, or veil of dots, she has endured since she was a child. This vibrant iconography, often transposed as nets or auras, dominates her practice.

In Infinity nets the 'dots' emerge as spaces delineated by the painting of the net. Hues of white construct the net; the first layer of paint laid down uses shades of grey-white. Over this first ground Kusama applies paint in rhythmic waves that move across the surface. The artist's skilled control is seen in how she manipulates the viscosity of the paint during its application – varying its thickness and density – and in the infinitesimal variations she is able to achieve with the whiteness of the paint from a brilliant clear white to luminous shades of grey and cream – to ensure a surface that ripples and vibrates. 'Infinity' is given a form through repetition, emphasising Kusama's way of perceiving the world as a place of wonder and sensation.

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