From 22 May to 27 July 2014
Obsessão Infiita (Infinite Obsession), by Yayoi Kusama, arrives in São Paulo, after Rio and Brasília. This is the first exhibition presented in Brazil that conveys an in-depth survey of the work of one of the most original and inventive artists of the postwar period. Produced in its Brazilian and Latin American edition by Instituto Tomie Ohtake in cooperation with the artist’s studio, the exhibition is curated by Philip Larratt-Smith and Frances Morris (curator of Kusama’s retrospective at Tate Modern in London). Infinite Obsession provides an overview of the work of the most prominent living artist from Japan through approximately 100 works covering the 1949-2012 period, including paintings, works on paper, sculptures, videos, slide shows and installations, including the famous “Dots Obsession”.
Infinite Obsession is a journey of Yayoi Kusama from private to public, from painting to performance, from the studio to the streets. The artist was born in the city of Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929. She started to make her poetic and semi- abstract works on paper in the 1940s before commencing her celebrated series “Infinity Net” in the late 1950s and in early 1960s. These original paintings are characterized by obsessive repetition of small painted arches, clumped into larger rhythmic patterns. Her move to New York in 1957 was a watershed for the artist. It was then that she contacted Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenberg and Joseph Cornell. Her painting practice gave way to delicate sculptures, known as “Accumulations” and then to performances and happenings that have become marginal subculture seals and yielded the artist notoriety and the attention of the main currents of criticism by then.
Kusama returned to Japan in 1973 and, since 1977, lives voluntarily in a psychiatric institution. The unique and pronounced psychological character of her work has always been matched with a generous dose of reinvention and formal innovation, which allows Kusama to share her unique vision with a wider audience through an infinitely mirrored space and obsessive repetition of dots, which unmistakably distinguishes her works. In her most recent works, the artist has renewed contact with her most radical instincts in immersive and collaborative installations - pieces that have made her the most celebrated living artist in Japan.