Art: Transition


An amazon of her time, Yayoi Kusama straddles the art stratosphere and is widely heralded as one of the greatest artists to have ever emerged from Japan. Born March 22, 1929 and trained at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts in a traditional painting format, her cross continental travels and exposures contributed major influences to her work, chief among these is the influence of American Abstract Impressionism. Her work has been a mixture and transition over the years, with impacts from nihonga, on to impressionism, distilled by the avant-garde scene most notably the pop-art movement and the hippie counter culture.


Her work has the highest living turnover of any living woman artist, she is also the most expensive living female artist at auction based on a $7.1 million series sale at a 2014 auction. She has received many awards and critical acclaim for her work over the years, among which are the Praemium Imperiale, the first Japanese woman to do so, it is one of Japan’s highest honours, the Person of Cultural Merit award (2009), Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2003) amongst others. Now an octogenarian, she has ranked among the top three most popular artists since 2014, a testament to her legacy.