Yayoi Kusama works in a broad range of mediums, from painting and photography to installation and performance art. The possibility of infinite repetition suggested by the intricate netlike pattern visible in this work is one of the artist’s signature motifs. The piece was made while Kusama was working in New York City from 1958 to 1968, before returning to her native Japan. She photographed her paintings, then cut up the black–and–white prints and fit them into a grid.
Gallery label from 2006.
As its title indicates, this collage is another form of accumulation, in this case, of cut and assembled gelatin silver photographs of various of Kusama’s Infinity Nets paintings. Here she uses images of her completed paintings to create a composition meant to evoke the infinite. “My desire was to predict and measure the infinity of the unbounded universe…” she has said about her Infinity Nets series. “How deep was the mystery? Did infinite infinities exist beyond our universe?” But while Kusama expressed such boundlessness in allover paintings whose compositions were deliberately unstructured, in Accumulation of Nets (No. 7), she organized the photographs into a grid. This fixed geometric arrangement introduces tension into the work, since the rigid order and delineations of the grid contradict the loose indeterminacy of the artist’s countless painted gestures.
Additional text from In The Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting online course, Coursera, 2017