ARTWORK SPOTLIGHT: Yayoi Kusama, Fire (3) & Red River Inside my Eyelids

Undoubtedly one of the important artists of our time, Yayoi Kusama has taken the world by storm with her iconic motifs and unwavering dedication to art. Known for her obsessive polka dots, pumpkins, and infinity-nets, over the years she has developed a unique visual language, compelling in its intricacies and based on her widely documented hallucinations. Exploring a more intimate side of her practice, today we are excited to place the spotlight on two of Kusama’s earlier works on paper. Both delicate and ethereal, they highlight the evolution of some of her most recognisable forms.  

Realised by Kusama at the tender age of 23 and long before her rise to global stardom, Fire (3) is an elegant piece executed prior to her seminal move to New York in the late 1950’s. Featuring dots softly overlaid on a beacon of rose-coloured light, it employs a composition she returned to frequently during these early years. While known for her versatile practice, around this time, Kusama was particularly drawn to works on paper – a medium which offers a distinct rawness and a more organic feel.

This sensitivity is paralleled in our second work, Red River Inside my Eyelids - a bewitching take on Kusama’s infinity-nets. Created in 1975, it likely references the Hudson River, an emblem of the New York landscape which offered Kusama solace as she settled into life in America. This nod to the Hudson also recalls the work of Kusama’s mentor and benefactor Georgia O’Keeffe, who created a series on the River around the same period.

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