Yayoi Kusama, A Flower (No. 14), 1953. Ink, gouache, and pastel on woven paper, 14 7/8 × 10 1/4 inches (37.8 × 26 cm). Gift of Barbara Lee, The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © YAYOI KUSAMA
Drawn primarily from the ICA’s permanent collection, this exhibition presents artworks that engage with the pioneering ideas of Yayoi Kusama, whose room-size sculpture LOVE IS CALLING is on view in the adjacent gallery. Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama celebrates Kusama’s prescient artistic vision, which since the 1950s has merged techniques of repetition, obsessional patterns, and the activation of the body in search of a path to liberation from psychological and societal constraints. Through her paintings, sculptures, and environments, as well as body art, film, and performance, Kusama channeled the attitudes and realities of the moment but avoided such labels as pop, minimalism, postminimalism, and performance art. Kusama’s peers shared her interest in timeless concepts that pushed the limits of possibility and of imagination: the idea of the infinite; the experience of rapture; the representational power of illusion; and the threshold between life and death. Here, Kusama’s work is presented alongside that of her contemporaries, such as Louise Bourgeois and Ana Mendieta, and other artists whose work builds on her lasting impact on contemporary art through dizzying arrays of forms and colors, infinite reflection, and the evocative vocabulary of the body.