Film Review: Kusama – Infinity

Despite her art regularly selling for over a million dollars, and her exhibitions are some of the most popular in the world, Yayoi Kusama is far from being a household name. Whilst she was heavily involved and extremely influential in the 1960s New York avant-garde scene, compared to some of her male contemporaries Yayoi has been largely forgotten. Thankfully, that wrong is in the process of being righted, spearheaded by a major retrospective in Washington and the opening of her own museum in Japan last year.

Kusama – Infinity, the new documentary from Heather Lenz, looks at the life and work of a very singular and unique personality and artist. Born and raised in a small rural Japanese city, Yayoi made the bold decision to move to post-war America. Her career has been personified by tenacity, determination and an aggressive self-belief. It has also been a lifelong battle with her demons which has seen her spend decades in and out of institutions.

Kusama – Infinity does exactly what any good art documentary should do, bringing an artist’s work to life and leaving you thirsty to discover more. Yayoi comes across as a rather indomitable character and her art is quite breathtaking. It is clear that she is a visionary and was constantly ahead of the curve and pushing boundaries. There is great beauty in her work and Lenz’s camera does it great justice. Kusama – Infinity is a colourful film about a wholly singular character and artist.

Kusama – Infinity is out in cinemas and On Demand from 5 October.

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