This week I visited the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern. As originally a fine artist, I have always been inspired by the works of female artists such as Frida Khalo and Louise Bourgeois. Kusama’s is a unique and seminal Japanese artist. Still working today in her late 80s, she has collaborated with artists such as Warhol and Joseph Cornell. Kusama began her spot painting long before Hirst had even thought about going to art school, whilst her performance work, films and installations are still seen as influential and challenging. I found the exhibition a revelation.
Like Khalo and Bourgeois, Kusama explores issues to do with her body and sexuality and references clothes, the body and her own body whether in her films or installations. Above all I find her work extraordinary in its use of colour, shape and texture – the delicacy and power of the mark making and the obsessive nature behind the creation of her work is at times over powering. This exhibition is inspiring, not just because it shows a lifetime’s commitment to her practice, but because it is significant to have another female artist at last being recognised for their contribution to the fine art canon.