As you wander through the increasingly bizarre selection of her artworks, an appreciation develops for how truly committed Kusama was to creation in it's rawest sense. Fabric, film, furniture, paint, pastel and pencil, she explored them all and continues to do so today from her native Japan.
Kusama has a chequered history, moving continents into a male dominated art scene in New York inspired a series of kimono-wearing portraits that show a slightly disturbed take on the world. Her voluntary decision to check into a mental health hospital upon her return from the US is often cited as a formative moment in her career, when she began to develop large scale canvas works and installations. For me, I see it not as formative but as a product of her internal visions and potential inability to feel comfortable in the modern Japan she returned to. A strange turn in her life, after once leaving Japan for a 'bigger world to accept her art', I think it simply further inspired her body of work.
Throughout her works the medium and content vary but the thread of repetition draws you in, brings the elements together and allows the briefest of insights into the mind that officially beat Warhol to the exhibition of repetitive prints on installation spaces. Kusama remains one of Japan's most celebrated artists, and continues to produce today. A highly recommended exhibition that brings pop art, death, visual trickery and utter weirdness to life. Showing at the Tate Modern until June 2012.