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Serial Forms and Repetition

Explore the importance of seriality and repetition in Minimalist art.

Accumulation of Stamps, 63

Yayoi Kusama
(Japanese, born 1929)

1962. Pasted labels and ink on paper, 23 3/4 x 29" (60.3 x 73.6 cm)

When she was a girl, Yayoi Kusama had hallucinations of flowers, dots, and nets—“the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows, and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body, and the universe.” She has said that her use of repeated forms, in this case store-bought labels and stickers, grows out of her struggle with these hallucinations caused by mental illness. She does not consider her art to be an end in itself. Instead it serves a personal function: “I am pursuing my art in order to correct the disability which began during my childhood.” The repetition required to make collages like this one are reflected in Kusama’s titles, which often include the words accumulation and infinity.

A series of events, objects, or compositional elements that repeat in a predictable manner.

The shape or structure of an object.

Derived from the French verb coller, meaning “to glue,” collage refers to both the technique and the resulting work of art in which fragments of paper and other materials are arranged and glued or otherwise affixed to a supporting surface.