Yayoi Kusama: Works from the 1950's
The Moon, 1953
pastel and gouache on paper 15 x 13 in

Although Kusama lived and worked in New York for little more than a decade, between 1958 and 1968, she exhibited with important artists of the time, among them Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Lucio Fontana, and Piero Manzoni.

Kusama was a pioneer of performance art, and an avid seeker of publicity. In a series of notorious 60's "happenings" she frolicked in mirrored rooms teeming with polka-dotted, stuffed appendages that suggested a cross between prurient taste buds and spotted phalluses.

After a nervous breakdown Kusama returned to Tokyo in the early 1970's, where she presently lives and works. In 1993 she was selected to represent Japan at the Venice Biennale, the first time an independent artist was featured in the Japanese Pavilion.