178 cm x 202 cm (70 1/16 in. x 79 1/2 in.)
(Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, 1929 - Tokyo, present)
Medium and Support:
Paint, mattress stuffing, and cardboard egg crates on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of the Center for International Contemporary Arts; Emanuel and Charlotte Levine Collection, 1992
Yayoi Kusama helped forge a new awareness of women artists as audacious experimenters. Her unconventional paintings, constructions, objects, installations, and performances give public expression to her private compulsions. Kusama, a Japanese artist who worked in New York from 1958 to 1972, suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes proliferating patterns to dominate her field of vision.
Beginning with small gouache paintings covered with vivid fields of repeated dots and cell-like shapes, she began employing collage techniques in the early 1960s to make her paintings more three-dimensional. No. 62 A.A.A. is a pivotal work. It is constructed of square egg cartons—the sort used for bulk egg deliveries in the 1960s and readily found in street garbage—arranged in a grid and joined by cotton stuffing salvaged from discarded mattresses. An overall coat of spray paint has unified the individual forms into one serial relief of concave hemispheres.
By using real-world objects, Kusama’s painted construction anticipated the principles of both Pop art and Minimalism, yet it also refers explicitly to her own unique perceptual experience. The rhythms of its projecting and receding voids mimic the pulsations of the expanding fields she sees, translating the sensations of her body into concrete form.
The Blanton owns a rich assortment of other Kusama works, including an important large diptych painting from 1987, 11 mixed media paintings on paper from the 1950s, and an archive of materials from the artist’s years in New York.