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Major survey celebrating Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama opens in Brisbane
Yayoi Kusama, Soul under the moon, 2002. Mirrors, ultra violet lights, water, plastic, nylon thread, timber, synthetic polymer paint. The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 2002 with funds from Michael Simcha Baevski and The Myer Foundation, a project of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899-1999, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and The Yayoi Kusama Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Appeal ©YAYOI KUSAMA.

BRISBANE.- A career-spanning survey of work by leading contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama (Japan b.1929) is on view at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art from 4 November 2017 until 11 February 2018.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’, co-curated by QAGOMA and National Gallery Singapore, would be a wild and wonderful journey through key moments in Kusama’s vast artistic career over seven decades.

Now in her late 80s, Yayoi Kusama is one of the most recognisable artists working today. We are thrilled to be partnering with National Gallery Singapore on this vibrant survey of her incredibly productive career,’ Mr Saines said.

‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ 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 including 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),’ Mr Saines said.

‘When Kusama began her epic painting series ‘My Eternal Soul’ in 2009, she initially intended it to comprise 100 canvases. Still ongoing, the series of works in a riot of bright colours now includes more than 500 paintings, 24 of the very newest of which are featured in the exhibition,” he said.

‘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 Children’s Art Centre at GOMA presents 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.

‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ has been co-curated by Reuben Keehan, Curator of Contemporary Asian Art, QAGOMA, with Russell Storer, Deputy Director (Curatorial and Collections) National Gallery Singapore and Adele Tan, Curator, National Gallery Singapore.

‘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,’ Mr Saines said.

Kusama’s practice was then the subject of an in-depth focus in ‘The 4th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT4) in 2002-03, and in 2011-12 a solo exhibition of her new and recent work ‘Look Now, See Forever’ was presented at GOMA.

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.

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