Trained in Japanese Nihonga painting, Kusama developed an incredibly cosmopolitan style looking to the French Surrealists for the foundations of her aesthetic. Whilst defying direct attribution to any school or “-ism”, her practice would nevertheless reciprocally inform the momentum abstraction gained during the 1960s. With the pristine system of archetypal Polka dots and the rejection of a vanishing point in favour of spatial complexity, the present work prophetically anticipates what would become key tenets of Kusama’s now iconic Infinity Nets. Outlining the importance that these early works would come to have on Kusama’s later practice, Frances Morris expanded: “The small works on paper from the Fifties and Sixties have this world in a grain of sand, this minute but galactic quality to it. When looking, you have that feeling of, ‘my God what scale am I?’ You get lost in this extraordinary cosmos... I think these macroscopic realms are really extraordinary” (Frances Morris cited in: ‘Kusama:’ I’d promised myself I’d conquer the world’, Phaidon, February 2012, online).
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