After holding individual exhibitions at Takemiya Gallery and other locations, in 1957, Kusama went to the United States. Based in New York, Kusama worked eagerly all over the world. In the mid-1970s, she returned to Japan. She has consistently been pursuing expressions in which meshes and polka dots are accumulated and repeated.

From the late 1950s, after she had moved to the United States, Kusama attracted attention by presenting large paintings repeatedly depicting meshes or polka dots. In the 1960s, as evident in these examples, the mesh style she had established in her paintings evolved into three-dimensional works. These are works Kusama made during her two-month-long stay at Lucio Fontana’s studio in Milan while she was having an individual exhibition in that city. The infinite mesh that has spread from a painting to the surface of a real object transfigures a commonplace utensil into a visually and psychologically impressive work that reminds us of the scales or skin on a creature. It is a rare work Kusama, who migrated from Japan to the United States and swept through the times in diverse fields from painting to performance, gave birth to in Europe in the 1960s.

(materials and technique, dimensions)
Suitcase: acrylic on suitcase 46.0×70.0×19.0cm
Stepladder: acrylic on wooden stepladder 252.0×57.0×155.0cm


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