Mermaid Writes About Art: For the Polka Dot and Infinity Obsessed, Yayoi Kusama

Posted by New Mermaid on


Photo courtesy of Ayala Museum. 

Polka Dots. We can't get enough, and with their reemergence this Spring (we barely say reemergence without noting that if there is a trend for polka dots then it leans towards classic), we thought we'd pay tribute to the connoisseur of pattern: the rebellious Yayoi Kusama. 

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer who works in a variety of media - painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art. Many know her for her Infinity Room. Many also know her for her polka dots - on giant pumpkins, canvasses, or endlessly splattered (although her technique is deliberate) on the floors, walls, and ceilings of gallery rooms. This thematic obsession with polka dots - this use of repetition and pattern - is an instance for Kusama to engage the audience in visual meditation. The almost-always bright contrasting colors launch viewers into a psychedelic mood and experience. And, no doubt, her art is either mesmerizing or fun to look at. Or both. 

A conceptual artist, Kusama's work hints at minimalism, abstract expressionism, Pop art, and feminism. 

We're also mentioning Kusama because there's an ongoing exhibition happening at the Hishhorn Museum in DC: Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms will be on show until May 14 before it moves on to the Seattle Art Museum. It shows six of Kusama's entrancing Infinity Mirror Rooms as well as a collection of paintings from her most recent series titled My Eternal Soul. There's also a massive pumpkin and a great many small ones. Just be sure not to fall on one, giant or small, when you're taking a selfie

If you're craving a sensory uplift and are in the DC area, here's an opportunity to witness one of the greatest living artists. In the meantime, we'll include here some works from Kusama past and present to set the mood (and to help you through the rest of your Wednesday).


Photo courtesy of Hishhorn Museum

Photo courtesy of Hishhorn Museum


Photo courtesy of Victoria Miro Gallery