22 March 1929
Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
|Known for||Painting, drawing, sculpture, installation art, performance art, film, fiction, fashion, writer|
|Movement||Pop art, minimalism, feminist art, environmental art|
Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生 or 弥生 Kusama Yayoi?, born March 22, 1929) is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, scat sculpture, performance art, and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde.
Kusama's work is based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. Kusama is also a published novelist and poet, and has created notable work in film and fashion design. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1998, the Whitney Museum in 2012, and Tate Modern in 2012. In 2006, she received a Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, Christie's New York sold a work by her for $5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist. In 2015 Artsy named her one of the Top 10 Living Artists of 2015.
- 1 Early life: 1929–1949
- 2 Career
- 3 Works
- 4 Exhibitions
- 5 Collections
- 6 Recognition
- 7 Art market
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 Works and publications
- 10 Further reading
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early life: 1929–1949
Born in Matsumoto, Nagano, into an upper-middle-class family of seedling merchants, Kusama started creating art at an early age, and began writing poetry at age 18. Her mother was reportedly physically abusive and Kusama remembers her father as "...the type who would play around, who would womanize a lot"  She went on to study Nihonga painting at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts in 1948. Frustrated with this distinctly Japanese style, she became interested in the European and American avant-garde, staging several solo exhibitions of her paintings in Matsumoto and Tokyo during the 1950s. In 1957 she moved to the United States, settling down in New York City where she produced a series of paintings influenced by the abstract expressionist movement. Switching to sculpture and installation as her primary mediums, Kusama became a fixture of the New York avant-garde, having her works exhibited alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal during the early 1960s, where she became associated with the pop art movement. Embracing the rise of the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, Kusama came to public attention when she organized a series of happenings in which naked participants were painted with brightly colored polka dots.
Early success in Japan: 1950–1956
By 1950, Kusama was depicting abstracted natural forms in watercolor, gouache and oil, primarily on paper. She began covering surfaces (walls, floors, canvases, and later, household objects and naked assistants) with the polka dots that would become a trademark of her work. The vast fields of polka dots, or "infinity nets," as she called them, were taken directly from her hallucinations. The earliest recorded work in which she incorporated these dots was a drawing in 1939 at age 10, in which the image of a Japanese woman in a kimono, presumed to be the artist's mother, is covered and obliterated by spots. Her first series of large-scale, sometimes more than 30 ft-long canvas paintings, Infinity Nets, were entirely covered in a sequence of nets and dots that alluded to hallucinatory visions. In the early 1960s Kusama began to cover items such as ladders, shoes and chairs with white phallic protrusions. Despite the micromanaged intricacy of the drawings, she turned them out fast and in bulk, establishing a rhythm of productivity she still maintains. She established other habits too, like having herself routinely photographed with new work.
Since 1963, Kusama has continued her series of Mirror/Infinity rooms. In these complex installations, purpose-built rooms lined with mirrored glass contain scores of neon coloured balls, hanging at various heights above the viewer. Standing inside on a small platform, light is repeatedly reflected off the mirrored surfaces to create the illusion of a never-ending space.
New York City: 1957–1972
After living in Tokyo and France, Kusama left Japan at the age of 27 for the United States. In 1957 she moved to Seattle, where she had an exhibition of paintings at the Zoe Dusanne Gallery. She stayed there for a year before moving on to New York City, following correspondence with Georgia O'Keeffe in which she professed an interest in joining the limelight of the city, and sought O'Keefe's advice. During her time in the U.S., she quickly established her reputation as a leader in the avant-garde movement. In 1961 she moved her studio into the same building as Donald Judd and sculptor Eva Hesse; Hesse became a close friend. During the following years, she was enormously productive, and by 1966, she was experimenting with room-size, freestanding installations that incorporated mirrors, lights, and piped-in music. She counted Judd and Joseph Cornell among her friends and supporters. However, she did not profit financially from her work. Around this time, Kusama was hospitalized regularly from overwork, and O'Keeffe convinced her own dealer Edith Herbert to purchase several works in order to help Kusama stave off financial hardship.
Kusama organized outlandish happenings in conspicuous spots like Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, often involving nudity and designed to protest the Vietnam War. In one, she wrote an open letter to Richard Nixon offering to have vigorous sex with him if he would stop the Vietnam war. Between 1967 and 1969 she concentrated on performances held with the maximum publicity, usually involving Kusama painting polka dots on her naked performers, as in the Grand Orgy to Awaken the Dead at the MOMA (1969), which took place at the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1968, Kusama presided over the happening Homosexual Wedding at the Church of Self-obliteration in 33 Walker Street in New York, and performed alongside Fleetwood Mac and Country Joe and the Fish at the Fillmore East, New York City. She opened naked painting studios and a gay social club called the Kusama 'Omophile Kompany (kok).
In 1966, Kusama first participated in the 33rd Venice Biennale. Her Narcissus Garden comprised hundreds of mirrored spheres outdoors in what she called a "kinetic carpet". As soon as the piece was installed on a lawn outside the Italian pavilion, Kusama, dressed in a golden kimono, began selling each individual sphere for 1,200 lire (US$2), until the Biennale organisers put an end to her enterprise. Perhaps one of Kusama's most notorious works, Narcissus Garden was as much about the promotion of the artist through the media as it was an opportunity to offer a critique of the mechanisation and commodification of the art market. Various versions of Narcissus Garden have been presented worldwide venues including Le Consortium, Dijon, 2000; Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2003; as part of the Whitney Biennial in Central Park, New York in 2004; and at the Jardin de Tuileries in Paris, 2010.
During her time in New York, Kusama had a decade-long sexless relationship with the American artist Joseph Cornell, Kusama's only recorded romantic attachment to date.
Return to Japan: 1973–present
In 1973, Kusama returned to Japan in ill health, where she began writing shockingly visceral and surrealistic novels, short stories, and poetry. She became an art dealer, but her business folded after several years and in 1977 Kusama checked herself into the Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill where she eventually took up permanent residence. She has been living at the hospital since, by choice. Her studio, where she has continued to produce work since the mid-1970s, is a short distance from the hospital in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Kusama is often quoted as saying: "If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago." From here, she has continued to produce artworks in a variety of mediums, as well as launching a literary career by publishing several novels, a poetry collection, and an autobiography. Her painting style shifted to high-colored acrylics on canvas, on an amped-up scale.
Yayoi Kusama said about her 1954 painting titled Flower (D.S.P.S),
One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body and the universe. I felt as if I had begun to self-obliterate, to revolve in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space, and be reduced to nothingness. As I realized it was actually happening and not just in my imagination, I was frightened. I knew I had to run away lest I should be deprived of my life by the spell of the red flowers. I ran desperately up the stairs. The steps below me began to fall apart and I fell down the stairs straining my ankle.
Another quotation of hers:
a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement ... Polka dots are a way to infinity.
Her organically abstract paintings of one or two colors (the Infinity Nets series), which she began upon arriving in New York, garnered comparisons to the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman. When she left New York she was practically forgotten as an artist until the late 1980s and 1990s, when a number of retrospectives revived international interest. Following the success of the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993, a dazzling mirrored room filled with small pumpkin sculptures in which she resided in color-coordinated magician's attire, Kusama went on to produce a huge, yellow pumpkin sculpture covered with an optical pattern of black spots. The pumpkin came to represent for her a kind of alter-ego or self-portrait. Kusama's later installation I'm Here, but Nothing (2000–2008) is a simply furnished room consisting of table and chairs, place settings and bottles, armchairs and rugs, however its walls are tattooed with hundreds of fluorescent polka dots glowing in the UV light. The result is an endless infinite space where the self and everything in the room is obliterated. The multi-part floating work Guidepost to the New Space, a series of rounded "humps" in fire-engine red with white polka dots, was displayed in Pandanus Lake.
In her ninth decade, Kusama has continued to work as an artist. She has harked back to earlier work by returning to drawing and painting; her work remaining innovative and multi-disciplinary, and her most recent exhibition displayed multiple acrylic-on-canvas works. Also featured were an exploration of infinite space in her Infinity Mirror rooms; which typically involve a cube shaped room being clad with mirrors, water on the floor and flickering lights; which suggests a pattern of life and death.
In 1977, Kusama published a book of poems and paintings entitled 7. One year later, her first novel Manhattan Suicide Addict appeared. Between 1983 and 1990, she finished the novels The Hustler's Grotto of Christopher Street (1983), The Burning of St Mark's Church (1985), Between Heaven and Earth (1988), Woodstock Phallus Cutter (1988), Aching Chandelier (1989), Double Suicide at Sakuragazuka (1989), and Angels in Cape Cod (1990), alongside several issues of the magazine S&M Sniper in collaboration with photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.
In 1968, the film Kusama's Self-Obliteration which Kusama produced and starred in won a prize at the Fourth International Experimental Film Competition in Belgium and the Second Maryland Film Festival and the second prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. In 1991, Kusama starred in the film Tokyo Decadence, written and directed by Ryu Murakami, and in 1993, she collaborated with British musician Peter Gabriel on an installation in Yokohama.
In 1968, Kusama established Kusama Fashion Company Ltd., and began selling avantgarde fashion in the "Kusama Corner" at Bloomingdales. In 2009, Kusama designed a handbag-shaped cell phone entitled Handbag for Space Travel, My Doggie Ring-Ring, a pink dotted phone in accompanying dog-shaped holder, and a red and white dotted phone inside a mirrored, dotted box dubbed Dots Obsession, Full Happiness With Dots, for Japanese mobile communication giant KDDI Corporation's "iida" brand. Each phone was limited to 1000 pieces. In 2011, Kusama created artwork for six limited-edition lipglosses from Lancôme. That same year, she worked with Marc Jacobs (who visited her studio in Japan in 2006) on a line of Louis Vuitton products, including leather goods, ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, watches, and jewelry.
In Yayoi Kusama’s Walking Piece (1966), a performance that was documented in a series of eighteen color slides, Kusama walks along the streets of New York City in a traditional Japanese kimono with a parasol. The kimono suggests traditional roles for women in Japanese custom. The parasol, however, is made to look inauthentic as it is really a black umbrella painted white on the exterior and decorated with fake flowers. Kusama walks down unoccupied streets in an unknown quest. She then turns and cries without reason, and eventually walks away and vanishes from view. This performance, through the association of the kimono, involves the stereotypes that Asian American women continue to face. However, as an avant-garde artist living in New York, her situation alters the context of the dress, creating a cross-cultural amalgamation. Kusama is able to point out the stereotype that her white American audience categorizes her in by showing the absurdity of cultural categorizing people in the world’s largest melting pot.
To date, Kusama has completed several major outdoor sculptural commissions, mostly in the form of brightly hued monstrous plants and flowers, for public and private institutions including Pumpkin (1994) for the Fukuoka Municipal Museum of Art; The Visionary Flowers (2002) for the Matsumoto City Museum of Art; Tsumari in Bloom (2003) for Matsudai Station, Niigata; Tulipes de Shangri-La (2003) for Euralille in Lille, France; Pumpkin (2006) at Bunka-mura on Benesse Island of Naoshima; Hello, Anyang with Love (2007) for Pyeonghwa Park, Anyang; and The Hymn of Life: Tulips (2007) for the Beverly Gardens Park in Los Angeles. In 1998, she realized a mural for the hallway of the Gare do Oriente subway station in Lisbon. Alongside these monumental works, she has produced smaller scale outdoor pieces including Key-Chan and Ryu-Chan, a pair of dotted dogs. All the outdoor works are cast in highly durable fiberglass-reinforced plastic, then painted in urethane to glossy perfection.
In 2010, Kusama designed a Town Sneaker-model bus, which she titled Mizutama Ranbu (Wild Polka Dot Dance) and whose route travels through her home town of Matsumoto. In 2011, she was commissioned to design the front cover of millions of pocket London Underground maps; the result is entitled Polka Dots Festival in London (2011). Coinciding with an exhibition of the artist's work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2012, a 120-foot reproduction of Kusama's painting Yellow Trees (1994) covered a condominium building under construction in New York's Meatpacking District. That same year, Kusama conceived her floor installation Thousands of Eyes as a commission for the new Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, Brisbane.
In 1959, Kusama had her first solo exhibition in New York at the Brata Gallery, an artist's co-op. She showed a series of white net paintings which were enthusiastically reviewed by Donald Judd (both Judd and Frank Stella then acquired paintings from the show). Kusama has since exhibited work with, among others, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns. Exhibiting alongside European artists including Lucio Fontana, Pol Bury, Otto Piene, and Gunther Uecker, in 1962 she was the only female artist to take part in the widely acclaimed Nul (Zero) international group exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
- 1976: Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art
- 1987: Fukuoka, Japan
- 1989: Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York
- 1993: Represented Japan at the Venice Biennale
- 1996: Recent Works at Robert Miller Gallery
- 1998–1999: Retrospective exhibition of work toured the U.S. and Japan
- 1998: "Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama,1958–1969", LACMA
- 2000: Le Consortium, Dijon
- 2004: "KUSAMATRIX", Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
- 2007: FINA Festival 2007. Kusama created Guidepost to the New Space, a vibrant outdoor installation for Birrarung Marr beside the Yarra River in Melbourne. In 2009, the Guideposts were re-installed at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, this time displayed as floating "humps" on a lake.
- 2008: "The Mirrored Years", Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
- August 2010: Aichi Triennale 2010, Nagoya. Works were exhibited inside the Aichi Arts Center, out of the center and Toyota car polka dot project.
- 2010: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen purchased the work Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli's Field. As of September 13 of that year the mirror room is permanently exhibited in the entrance area of the museum.
- July 2011: Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
- 2012: Tate Modern, London. Described as 'akin to being suspended in a beautiful cosmos gazing at infinite worlds, or like a tiny dot of fluoresecent plankton in an ocean of glowing microscopic life', the exhibition features work from Kusama's entire career.
- July 15, 2013 – November 3, 2013: Daegu Art Museum, Daegu, Korea
- June 30, 2013 – September 16, 2013: MALBA, the Latinamerican Art Museum of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- September 17, 2015 – January 24, 2016: "In Infinity", Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
- June 12 – August 9, 2015: "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Theory", The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia. This was the artist's first solo exhibition in Russia.
- February 19 – May 15, 2016: "Yayoi Kusama - I uendeligheten", Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norway
- September 20, 2015 – September, 2016: "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrored Room", Broad Museum, Los Angeles, California
- June 12 – September 18, 2016: "Kusama: At the End of the Universe," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas
- May 1, 2016 - November 30, 2016: "Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden", The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut.
- May 25, 2016 – July 30, 2016: "Yayoi Kusama: sculptures, paintings & mirror rooms", Victoria Miro Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
Kusama's work is in the collections of leading museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
Kusama has received numerous awards, including the Asahi Prize (2001); Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2003); and the National Lifetime Achievement Awards, the Order of the Rising Sun (2006). In October 2006, Yayoi Kusama became the first Japanese woman to receive the Praemium Imperiale, one of Japan's most prestigious prizes for internationally recognized artists. Also she received the Person of Cultural Merit (2009) and Ango awards (2014).
In the 1960s, Beatrice Perry's Gres Gallery played an important role in establishing Kusama's career in the United States. Ota Fine Arts, Kusama's longtime Tokyo dealer, has worked with the artist since the 1980s. Kusama left Gagosian Gallery in late 2012; before moving to Gagosian, she had been with Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Kusama has been represented by Victoria Miro Gallery since the early 2000s, and joined David Zwirner in 2013. The artist is currently represented by David Zwirner, Ota Fine Arts, and Victoria Miro Gallery.
Kusama's work has performed strongly at auction: top prices for her work are for paintings from the late 1950s and early 1960s. As of 2012, her work has the highest turnover of any living woman artist. In November 2008, Christie's New York sold a 1959 white "Infinity Net" painting formerly owned by Donald Judd, No. 2, for US$5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist. In comparison, the highest price for a sculpture from her New York years is £72,500 (US$147,687), fetched by the 1965 wool, pasta, paint and hanger assemblage Golden Macaroni Jacket at Sotheby's London in October 2007. A 2006 acrylic on fiberglass-reinforced plastic pumpkin earned $264,000, the top price for one of her sculptures, also at Sotheby's in 2007 Her 'Flame of Life - Dedicated to Tu-Fu (Du-Fu)' sold for US$960,000 at Art Basel/Hong Kong in May 2013, the highest price paid at the show. Kusama became the most expensive living female artist at auction when White No. 28 (1960) from her signature “Infinity Nets” series sold for $7.1 million at a 2014 Christie's auction.
In popular culture
- Superchunk, an American indie band, included a song called "Art Class (Song for Yayoi Kusama)" on its Here's to Shutting Up album.
- Yoko Ono cites Kusama as an influence.
- The 2004 Matsumoto Performing Art Center in Kusama's hometown Matsumoto, designed by Toyo Ito, has an entirely dotted façade.
- She is mentioned in the lyrics of the Le Tigre song "Hot Topic".
- In 2013 the British indie pop duo The Boy Least Likely To made song tribute to Yayoi Kusama, writing a song specially about her. They wrote on their blog that they admire Kusama's work because she puts her fears into it, something that they themselves often do.
- The Nels Cline Singers dedicated one track, "Macroscopic (for Kusama-san)" of their 2014 album, Macroscope to Kusama.
Works and publications
- Rodenbeck, J.F. "Yayoi Kusama: Surface, Stitch, Skin." Zegher, M. Catherine de. Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of 20th Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-262-54081-0 OCLC 33863951
- Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Jan. 30-May 12, 1996.
- Kusama, Yayoi, and Damien Hirst. Yayoi Kusama Now. New York, N.Y.: Robert Miller Gallery, 1998. ISBN 978-0-944-68058-2 OCLC 42448762
- Robert Miller Gallery, New York, June 11-Aug. 7, 1998.
- Kusama, Yayoi, and Lynn Zelevansky. Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958-1968. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1998. ISBN 978-0-875-87181-3 OCLC 39030076
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mar. 8-June 8, 1998; three other locations through July 4, 1999.
- Kusama, Yayoi. Yayoi Kusama. Wien: Kunsthalle Wien, 2002. ISBN 978-3-852-47034-4 OCLC 602369060
- Kusama, Yayoi. Yayoi Kusama. Paris: Les Presses du Reel, 2002. ISBN 978-0-714-83920-2 OCLC 50628150
- Hoptman, Laura, Akira Tatehata, and Udo Kultermann. Yayoi Kusama. London: Phaidon Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-714-83920-2 OCLC 749417124
- Seven European exhibitions in France, Germany, Denmark, etc.; 2001 - 2003.
- Kusama, Yayoi. Kusamatorikkusu = Kusamatrix. Tōkyō: Kadokawa Shoten, 2004. ISBN 978-4-048-53741-4 OCLC 169879689
- Mori Art Museum, 7 February - 9 May 2004; Mori Geijutsu Bijutsukan, Sapporo, 5 June - 22 August 2004.
- Kusama, Yayoi, and Tōru Matsumoto. Kusama Yayoi eien no genzai = Yayoi Kusama : eternity-modernity. Tōkyō: Bijutsu Shuppansha, 2005. ISBN 978-4-568-10353-3 OCLC 63197423
- Tōkyō Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan, Oct. 26-Dec. 19, 2004; Kyōto Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan, Jan. 6-Feb. 13, 2005; Hiroshima-shi Gendai Bijutsukan, Feb. 22-Apr. 17, 2005; Kumamoto-shi Gendai Bijutsukan, Apr. 29-July 3, 2005; at Matsumoto-shi Bijutsukan, July 30-Oct. 10, 2005.
- Applin, Jo, and Yayoi Kusama. Yayoi Kusama. London: Victoria Miro Gallery, 2007. ISBN 978-0-955-45644-2 OCLC 501970783
- Victoria Miro Gallery, London, 10 Oct. - 17 Nov. 2007.
- Kusama, Yayoi. Yayoi Kusama. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2009. ISBN 978-1-932-59894-0 OCLC 320277816
- Gagosian Gallery, New York, Apr. 16-Jun. 27, 2009; Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, May 30-Jul. 17, 2009.
- Morris, Frances, and Jo Applin. Yayoi Kusama. London: Tate Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-1-854-37939-9 OCLC 781163109
- Kusama, Yayoi, and Akira Tatehata. Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven. New York: David Zwirner, 2014. ISBN 978-0-989-98093-7 OCLC 879584489
- David Zwirner Gallery, New York, Nov. 8-Dec. 21, 2013.
- Carroll, Lewis, and Yayoi Kusama. Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. London: Penguin Classics, 2012. ISBN 978-0-141-19730-2 OCLC 54167867
- Nakajima, Izumi. "Yayoi Kusama between abstraction and pathology." Pollock, Griselda. Psychoanalysis and the Image: Transdisciplinary Perspectives. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2006. pp. 127–160. ISBN 978-1-405-13460-6 OCLC 62755557
- Klaus Podoll, "Die Künstlerin Yayoi Kusama als pathographischer Fall." Schulz R, Bonanni G, Bormuth M, eds. Wahrheit ist, was uns verbindet: Karl Jaspers' Kunst zu philosophieren. Göttingen, Wallstein, 2009. p. 119. ISBN 978-3-835-30423-9 OCLC 429664716
- Cutler, Jody B. "Narcissus, Narcosis, Neurosis: The Visions of Yayoi Kusama." Wallace, Isabelle Loring, and Jennie Hirsh. Contemporary Art and Classical Myth. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011. pp. 87–109. ISBN 978-0-754-66974-6 OCLC 640515432
- Kusama, Yayoi. A Book of Poems and Paintings. Tokyo: Japan Edition Art, 1977.
- Kusama, Yayoi. Kusama Yayoi: Driving Image = Yayoi Kusama. Tōkyō: PARCO shuppan, 1986. ISBN 978-4-891-94130-7 OCLC 54943729
- Kusama, Yayoi, Ralph F. McCarthy, Hisako Ifshin, and Yayoi Kusama. Violet Obsession: Poems. Berkeley: Wandering Mind Books, 1998. ISBN 978-0-965-33043-5 OCLC 82910478
- Kusama, Yayoi, Ralph F. McCarthy, Yayoi Kusama, and Yayoi Kusama. Hustlers Grotto: Three Novellas. Berkeley, Calif: Wandering Mind Books, 1998. ISBN 978-0-965-33042-8 OCLC 45665616
- Kusama, Yayoi. Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-226-46498-5 OCLC 711050927
- Kusama, Yayoï, and Isabelle Charrier. Manhattan Suicide Addict. Dijon: Presses du Réel, 2005. ISBN 978-2-840-66115-3 OCLC 420073474
Catalogue raisonné, etc.
- Kusama, Yayoi. Yayoi Kusama: Print Works. Tokyo: Abe Corp, 1992. ISBN 978-4-872-42023-4 OCLC 45198668
- Kusama, Yayoi, and Hideki Yasuda. Yayoi Kusama Furniture by Graf: Decorative Mode No. 3. Tōkyō: Seigensha Art Publishing, 2003. ISBN 978-4-916-09470-4 OCLC 71424904
- Kusama, Yayoi. Kusama Yayoi zen hangashū, 1979-2004 = All Prints of Kusama Yayoi, 1979-2004. Tōkyō: Abe Shuppan, 2006. ISBN 978-4-872-42174-3 OCLC 173274568
- Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular by Midori Yamamura, 2015, MIT Press
- Kate Deimling (May 16, 2012), Kusama Writes of Hunger, Grudges, and Necking With Joseph Cornell in Her Odd Autobiography, BLOUINARTINFO France.
- Love Forever : Yayoi Kusama, 1958–1968, July 9 - September 22, 1998, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
- YAYOI KUSAMA, July 12 – Sept 30, 2012, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
- Yayoi Kusama, 9 February – 5 June 2012, Tate Modern, London.
- "WCA Past Honorees".
- New York art sales The Guardian, retrieved November 2008
- "The Top 10 Living Artists of 2015". Artsy. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Farah Nayeri (February 14, 2012), Man-Hating Artist Kusama Covers Tate Modern in Dots: Interview Bloomberg.
- Butler, Cornelia (2007). WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. MIT Press. p. 257.
- Yayoi Kusama Timeline Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
- Yayoi Kusama, November 18, 1998 – January 8, 1999 Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
- David Pilling (January 20, 2012), The world according to Yayoi Kusama Financial Times Weekend Magazine.
- Yayoi Kusama MoMA Collection, New York.
- Holland Cotter (July 12, 2012), Vivid Hallucinations From a Fragile Life - Yayoi Kusama at Whitney Museum of American Art New York Times.
- Yayoi Kusama: Soul under the moon (2002) Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland.
- Zoë Dusanne: An Art Dealer Who Made a Difference, p99, by Jo Ann Ridley; Fithian Press, 2011
- Liu, Belin (February 26, 2009), Yayoi Kusama, Bitch magazine, retrieved November 30, 2010
- "Yayoi Kusama Art - 100+ Works, Bio, News | Artsy". www.artsy.net. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
- Carl Swanson (July 8, 2012), The Art of the Flame-Out New York Magazine.
- Yayoi Kusama: Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow, October 7, – November 13, 2010 Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
- McDonald, John (February 12, 2005), "Points of no return", Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved November 30, 2010
- Art Review (interview), 2007
- Cotter, Holland (July 12, 2012), "Vivid Hallucinations From a Fragile Life – Yayoi Kusama at Whitney Museum of American Art", The New York Times
- Bayly, Zac (2012), "Yayoi Kusama", Zac-Attack (interview), retrieved Sep 21, 2013
- Kusama, Yayoi (1978), Manhattan jisatsu misui joshuhan [Manhattan Suicide Addict], Tokyo: Kosakusha, (extract) reproduced in Hoptman, Yayoi Kusama, et al., p. 124
- Yayoi Kusama (collection), New York: MoMA
- Yayoi Kusama, New York/Los Angeles: Gagosian Gallery, April 16 – June 27, 2009, archived from the original on November 5, 2011
- Yayoi Kusama, London: Victoria Miro Gallery, February 7 – March 20, 2008
- Taylor, Rachel (2012). Yayoi Kusama: Recent Work 2009-2012. London: Tate. ISBN 9781 85437 939 9.
- Yayoi Kusama Timeline Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane..
- Midori Matsui, Interview: Yayoi Kusama, 1998 Index Magazine.
- Art Editions: Yayoi Kusama KDDI Corporation. Archived June 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Emili Vesilind (May 24, 2011), Lancôme collaborates with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama on new Juicy Tubes Los Angeles Times.
- Ann Binlot (January 9, 2012), Marc Jacobs Recruits Yayoi Kusama for Latest Louis Vuitton Collaboration BLOUINARTINFO.
- Schultz, Stacy E. (2012). "Asian American Women Artists: Performative Strategies Redefined". Journal of Asian American Studies 15.1: 105–27.
- Kusama, April 16 – June 27, 2009 Gagosian Gallery, New York/Los Angeles.[dead link]
- Yayoi Kusama: Outdoor Sculptures, June 23, – July 25, 2009 Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
- Laura Kusisto (August 2, 2012), 'Yellow Trees' Growing Wall Street Journal.
- Des Houghton (June 08, 2012), Justice Minister Jarrod Bleijie condemns Yayoi Kusama artwork at new Supreme Court and District Court building in Brisbane The Courier-Mail.
- Yayoi Kusama: Mirrored Years, 23 August – 19 October 2008 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
- "Yayoi Kusama at Fairchild", December 5, 2009 – May 30, 2010 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
- "Yayoi Kusama". What's On. Tate Modern. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Trebuchet Magazine http://www.trebuchet-magazine.com/index.php/site/article/tate_modern_yayoi_kusama/
- Rogers, Sam (September 25, 2015). "In infinity: Yayoi Kusama’s dots take over the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art". Wallpaper. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Theory [exhibition website]". Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Blouinartinfo (January 23, 2007). "Art News: Kusama First Japanese Woman to Win Coveted Art Award". BLOUINARTINFO. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "安吾賞-第9回 受賞者". Ango awards. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Bridget Moriarity (March 5, 2009), Artist Dossier: Yayoi Kusama ARTINFO.
- Claudia Bodin (May 5, 2009), Kusama bleibt Kusama art – Das Kunstmagazin.
- Charlotte Burns (14 December 2012), Yayoi Kusama also leaves Gagosian The Art Newspaper.
- Sarah Thornton (May 20, 2012), The price of being female The Economist.
- Cross-Cultural Journeys: Yayoi Kusama and Kenzo Okada Christie's.
- Bridget Moriarity (March 5, 2009), Artist Dossier: Yayoi Kusama ARTINFO.
- Kelly Crow (November 12, 2014), Christie’s Makes History With $853 Million Sale of Contemporary Art – Andy Warhol’s ‘Triple Elvis [Ferus Type]’ Sells for $82 Million Wall Street Journal.
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- band camp.com
- blog spirit.com
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