Yayoi Kusama – Daniel Buren: How to Keep Making the Same Artwork without Repeating for an Entire Lifetime

16 April 2014
Wednesday, 19:30



The work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (born 1929) is autobiographical in nature, drawing its inspiration from her hallucinations and her imagination. Each of her creations is an obsessive repetition of the same motifs - minimalistic psychedelic patterns and sexual symbols that relate to her personal emotions, as well as the story of her mental illness.

Rejecting the traditional, classical approach to painting, French artist Daniel Buren (born 1938) conceived an aesthetic form of his own, with which he has successfully worked since 1966. Due to his characteristic use of stripes, it may seem at first glance as if there is little difference between his works, yet each is in fact directly related to its environment. Buren involves the surroundings in the final product, forcing the viewer to look not just at the work, but also to contextualize it spatially.

Both of these artists have created a trademark of sorts, which they use again and again in their art. Yet they manage to avoid trivial replication, not simply repeating the central motif, but reimagining it in each new work.


Irina Kulik is an art critic, cultural studies expert, PhD, lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA Moscow), the author of numerous publications on contemporary art, cinema and modern music.

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