Kusama – Infinity
Careening through a career that spans half a century, breaking the boundaries of space, Yayoi Kusama fought bias, bigotry and mental illness but always said her dots and infinity nets were subconscious and psychosomatic expressions – a leap into the unknown based on developing her psychological problems into art. Unfortunately the multimedia pop artist, a Japanese woman, was disconnected from American cultural affluence and did not get the same recognition as her male counterparts in the ’50s and ’60s. Virtually obliterated from art history, now in her late eighties, having resided in a psychiatric hospital for years, her soft accumulation sculptures of couches and rowboats are more associated with the work of Claes Oldenburg, while Warhol copied her mirrored background environments and 33 ft. wallpaper hangings. “While the dead show dead art, the living artists die!” she proclaimed, as she would become a denunciator of the contemporary scene by showing up uninvited to the Venice Biennale, selling her glass globes on the front lawn, like hot dogs. Director Heather Lenz’s personalized look at the early struggles which led to Kusama becoming an international success also shows how time – as well as the space that’s filled – impacts art.