Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

A journey through key moments in leading contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s vast artistic career, Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art presents Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, on display from 4 November 2017.

“Now in her late 80s, Yayoi Kusama is one of the most recognisable artists working today,” said QAGOMA Director, Chris Saines. “Our Gallery’s long-standing relationship with Yayoi Kusama and her Tokyo-based studio was established in 1989 when the artist participated in the exhibition, Japanese Ways, Western Means at QAG. Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow will be a wild and wonderful journey through key moments in Kusama’s vast artistic career over seven decades.”

An international phenomenon, the exhibition explores key motifs in Kusama’s work since the early 1950s, her engagement with the body, and her expansive conception of space. It includes more than 70 works: early painterly experiments, a multi-decade presentation of the celebrated ‘net’ paintings, soft-sculpture and assemblage, performance documents, iconic ‘infinity rooms’ and large-scale installations from later in her career.

The exhibition culminates in an immersive presentation of Kusama’s most recent paintings from the visually arresting My Eternal Soul series (2009 – ongoing). When Kusama began her epic painting series in 2009, she initially intended it to comprise 100 canvases. Still ongoing, the series of works now includes more than 500 paintings, 24 of the very newest of which are featured in the exhibition.

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow also includes two artworks by Kusama commissioned for the Gallery’s 2002 Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Narcissus garden (1966/2002) returns to the QAG Watermall, while the hugely popular interactive installation The obliteration room (2002 – ongoing) – a work that has been displayed at over 21 venues in 15 countries, and viewed by more than 5 million people, will be presented in GOMA’s Children’s Art Centre.

Kusama’s practice was then the subject of an in-depth focus in The 4th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in 2002 – 03, and a solo exhibition of her new and recent work, Look Now, See Forever was presented at GOMA in 2011 – 12. Now, Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow offers a great overview of Kusama’s long and productive career, from the 1950s to today, drawing on QAGOMA’s holdings as well as collections in Japan and South-East Asia.

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Exhibition: 4 November 2017 – 11 February 2018
Free admission

For more information, visit: www.qagoma.qld.gov.au for details.

Image: Yayoi Kusama in front of Life is the Heart of a Rainbow (2017) © YAYOI KUSAMA – courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore, Victoria Miro, London, David Zwirner, New York.