11 october – 25 november 2006
Yayoi Kusama established herself in New York from 1957 to 1973, where she frequented Donald Judd and Frank Stella. Rapidly assmilated to the New York avant-garde, the artist appeared as one of the precursors of pop art and of environmental art. At the end of the 1960’s in Europe she joined the group Zero of Piero Manzoni and Yves Klein.

Having returned to Japan in 1973, she resides in a psychiatric hopsital at her own request since 1977, monitored by doctor friends. « Psychiatric treatment gave Kusama what her parents had always refused, – noted Shiho Nishimura, eminent psychiatrist- namely, the legitimacy to express herself, and the liberty to be insane.”

She gained recognition during the 1980’s, and international acclaim during the 1990’s (Venice biennale in 1993 – where she represented Japan – retrospective of her work at MoMA in New York in 1998). This gave her an eminent place in the history of the avant-garde, as well as in the actuality of our time, where she exerts a considerable influence on the younger generation who regularly pays her regular homage.

Kusama’s whole method is based on repetition, the obsession, as in the multiplication of coloured dots, mirrors, or phallic shapes. She herself often appears as an internal element in her own installations. Rechristened « Mrs Dots » she entered the world of fashion, film-making, song composing, and the writing of novels, news, and poetry.

For this new exhibition, Kusama works in porcelain at the invitation of Manufacture de Sèvres and of her Paris gallery, PIECE UNIQUE. With several journeys to Tokyo, these two persuaded her to create original works rather than reusing ancient pieces of porcelain ; this has given rise to two unprecedented works, both disconcerting and irresistible, in stoneware and porcelain.

For the fifth exhibition devoted to the artist at PIECE UNIQUE, rue Jacques-Callot, a new work, Crimson Eye, will be presented, conceived especially for the space – a one-of-a-kind object, a sort of monumental hybrid animal, surmounted with the eye of a cyclops, made of Sevres glazed stoneware covered with a glossy platinum for the body, the eye is made of porcelain biscuit decorated with low-fire colours.

At PIECE UNIQUE VARIATIONS, 26-28, rue Mazarine, one can encounter, along with new recent works, Golden Spirit, a limited edition of 18 in porcelain biscuit entirely covered with pure gold and with low-fire colours on the eye, hands and feet.

Selected works

Exhibition views