Yayoi Kusama Print Works: Special Exhibition at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art

Yayoi Kusama, world-famous artist and native of Matsumoto, has her colorful and distinctive works displayed permanently at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. But this summer the museum has put on a special exhibition, Yayoi Kusama Hanga-no-Sekai, that brings us down the road of her life as it leads us past her thoughts, represented in “hanga” prints and pieces that could have been created by no one else.

Yayoi Kusama’s Work

Yayoi Kusama is perhaps best-known for her red polka dots and her yellow spotted pumpkins works. But her work goes far beyond these. On permanent display are expressions of various media: lights and mirrors and three-dimensional objects of material soft and hard. In the special exhibition going on right now we see her work in multiple series of prints and original paintings.

Reflective of her most famous works and her trademark dots, the prints and paintings on display show simple objects, both natural and man-made, infused with patterns and features seen through Kusama’s mind’s eye, as well as abstract lines and shapes that at once bleed with precision and confusion.

Yayoi Kusama’s Life

On the surface, Kusama’s work may appear interesting, alluring, even thought-provoking. Given only her artistic expression, however, we would be left to wonder about the person behind these works.

Yet along the way through this special exhibition we are given insight into the life of Yayoi Kusama, expressed in her own words, spelled out in black and white, right on the walls. And it is from her words – her thoughts, her admissions, her undying dreams and her ponderings of her own mortality – that give substance to the impressions conveyed by her work and, in turn, subtly coax us to reflect on our own visions of this world.

Visiting Yayoi Kusama’s World

“Yayoi Kusama – Hanga-no-Sekai” translates as Yayoi Kusama’s World in Prints. This special exhibition only runs through September 25, 2022. But the Matsumoto City Museum of Art will continue to display permanently Kusama’s most famed and beloved works alongside many other pieces that leave an equally strong impression to those who make time to see them.

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