Q: Please settle a dispute: does Kusama use stencils or other tools for works like “Yellow Trees”? Thanks!
A: I originally assumed that stencils were used. Now, after close and intense observation, I have ruled them out. Kusama is obsessive in her mark-making and there are infinite variations in every line of circles in YELLOW TREES. And, I do not find logical repeats. Each tendril/stem is too individual. She may have used a compass to set the larger curves (pin-holes evident at points); however even these are not “regular.’ We must remember that Kusama has a very obsessive nature that is evident in her early infinity net paintings of the late 1950s.
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Yellow Trees, 1994. Acrylic on canvas, 63 13/16 x 153 9/16 in. (162.1 x 390 cm). Forever Museum of Contemporary Art. © Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London