Attracted to the social freedoms promised by the teeming postwar art scene in the United States, Kusama left Japan and moved to New York in 1958. Soon she began producing her series Infinity Nets, including No. F., in which she played with the idea of infinite repetition and infinite space. Marrying serial repetition with an allover painting method, the artist’s works collapse the distinction between figure and ground, giving equal weight to the interlocking brushstrokes and the spaces between them. The process of making these paintings was a form of catharsis for the artist, who said, “Forget yourself. Become one with eternity. Become part of your environment.”
Gallery label from 2023
Attracted to the social freedom and teeming postwar art scene in the United States, Kusama left Japan and moved to New York City in 1958. Soon thereafter, she began producing her Infinity Nets series of paintings, including No. F., in which she played with the notion of infinite repetition and infinite space. While the expansive white of her canvas presaged the monochromes of the Minimalists, her use of thick, intricately webbed impasto hints at something more personal and obsessive. In fact, her nets can be seen as a material form of the patterns that Kusama experiences in hallucinations, a condition that has afflicted her since childhood.
Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017