Portrait of Yayoi Kusama, © Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy of Victoria Miro

Yayoi Kusama is painting again

Look out for flowers and phallic shapes when the artist shows her new work (and some old) this autumn

Today, she’s better known for her pumpkin sculptures and her trippy, mirrored Infinity Room installations, yet the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama began her career as a painter, with her early, repetitive Infinity Nets paintings garnering the interest of US minimalists such as Donald Judd and Frank Stella.

Despite drawing crowds to galleries for her off-the-wall works, she’s continued to paint throughout her career, and, this autumn, she’s showing a series of new canvases at Victoria Miro in London.

The exhibition will include additions to her My Eternal Soul series. Here’s how we describe these works in our new Yayoi Kusama book.

“In 2009, Kusama began My Eternal Soul, a new series of acrylic-on-canvas paintings that builds upon her signature style of nets and dots. The paintings are surreal, semi-figurative, folksy explosions of colour and line that pulsate with complementary hues and biomorphic shapes. Some offer intricate, hieroglyphic-like patterns of eyes, faces in profile, flowers, phallic shapes, or amoebas.


Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul, installation view, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2017
Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul, installation view, The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2017

“Originally intending only to produce around 100 works in this series,” the book goes on, “Kusama has already amassed over 500 and continues painting them today.”

And if all those phallic, biomorphic shapes are a bit much, don’t worry. The new exhibition, which will open at the Victoria Miro gallery on 3 October, will also feature also feature flower and pumpkin sculptures as well as her perennial crowd pleaser: a new large Infinity Mirror Room, “which will,” says the gallery, “envelop visitors inside a large mirrored room with paper lanterns covered with polka dot patterns, which are suspended from the ceiling.”


Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama

Get ready to queue. Meanwhile, for more, easily accessible views of Kusama’s work, order a copy of our Yayoi Kusama book here