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Yayoi Kusama, Oven-Pan (1963)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
Dismantling and accumulating, proliferating and separating, the sense of obliterating and the sounds from the invisible cosmos. What are all these things?--Yayoi Kusama

At age 27, Yayoi Kusama left her native Japan for New York and quickly established a reputation for herself in predominantly male avant-garde art circles. Her work contains elements of the Pop Art, Fluxus, Minimalist, and Abstract Expressionist art movements that were all going on simultaneously in New York. However, it is distinct in its obsessive, often sexually charged sensibility and in the intensively laborious and compulsive practice it demonstrates.

Oven-Pan is part of a body of works, begun in 1962, that Kusama calls "aggregation sculptures," "accumulation sculptures," or "compulsion furniture." She often starts with an object associated with women's work--in this case, a metal oven pan--and covers it with stuffed, phallic protrusions. At times, Kusama has expanded these works to room-sized installations in which the environment becomes a field of obliterating, menacing proliferations. These installations--often involving mirrors and lights that create a perceptual, performative, and kinetic experience--garnered her an association with Zero, a group of artists that included Günther Uecker and Piero Manzoni, whose works can be seen in this gallery.

Walker solo exhibition: Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958-1968, 1998-1999

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Type: Commentary, object label
Source: Label text for Yayoi Kusama, Oven-Pan (1963), from the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, September 5, 1999 to September 2, 2001.
Rights: Copyright 1999 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009