Described as ‘the world’s most popular artist’, Yayoi Kusama (Japan, b. 1929) is best known for her immersive polka-dot and mirror installations. Over the course of her 60-year career, she has engaged with an expansive idea of space and the human body. She uses several recurring motifs – dots, eyes, nets and pumpkins – to investigate repetition and to create sensory experiences that hint at the infinite.
THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS, 2017, is an installation comprising a vibrant yellow room overrun with black polka dots of various sizes. At its centre is a mirrored box, inside which are several dozen illuminated pumpkin sculptures that can be seen through windows. The pumpkins, endlessly reflected in the room’s internal mirrors, are also vivid yellow and adorned with dots. The dazzling combination of dots, mirrors and pumpkins creates an optical illusion – a sensation of infinite space and colour. Yayoi Kusama: THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS is a National Gallery of Australia Touring Exhibition made possible with the support of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett.
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