One of Kusama’s earliest surviving works is a sketchbook she kept as a student, the pages of which are full of detailed drawings of peonies. These precise depictions transformed into more allusive imagery in her works of the 1950s. Stumps and roots rising out of the parched ground in Earth of Accumulation are suggestive of bones, while the sprouting form in Flower Bud No.6 is rendered in lines that evoke a calligraphic character.
Kusama made a number of accumulation sculptures that allude to floral life. A number of accumulation sculptures including Flower Overcoat and Silver Dress are covered in plastic flowers. In My Flower Bed a bloom made of gloves rises from a ground constructed from mattress springs.
In the 1980s and 1990s she made a series of large-scale paintings and sculptures that continue this fascination with plant motifs. Tendrils spill out of boxes in Heaven and Earth. The triptych Yellow Trees features a writhing mass of polka dot covered tubers snaking around and through one another.
More recently Kusama has made large-scale sculptures depicting colourful polka-dotted, eye-bedecked flowers. One of these exuberant, cartoonish works can be seen on the balcony off the café at the exhibition’s exit.