Yayoi Kusama

Kusama is one of the most ambitious artists of her generation (she’s now eighty), working on a huge scale both as a painter and, more recently, on installations, such as this year’s extraordinary Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, now at the Gagosian in New York:

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You’ll also have seen her work this summer f you’ve wandered down the South Bank, where her Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees is part of the Hayward’s summer exhibition, Walking In My Mind:

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The overall effect is striking: beautiful but slightly sinister, as if London has been colonised by clowns. Close up, what’s striking is the way in which people have co-opted the artwork with their own private proclamations, filling in the polka dots with a gleeful mixture of the romantic, the poignant, the mysterious and — inevitably — the erotic. Here’s just a small selection …

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