Aggregation: One Thousand Boats  Show, 1963 mixed media  schenking kunstenaar, 1965

Yayoi Kusama, 'Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show',      mixed media, 1963     Pieter Tijhuis


Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show was the first spatial installation created by Yayoi Kusama in New York, where she had moved from Japan in 1958. The work consisted of a rowboat ornamented with countless white phallic protrusions, set in a space covered with wallpaper on which the same boat is depicted over and over again. Two white high-heeled shoes sit at the bottom of the vessel.

Nul and ZERO

Kusama regularly showed her work with the Nul and ZERO-artists in the 1960s, a movement which sought to give art a new impetus after the brutal war years through the reduction, concentration, and renewal of artistic forms. Twice, in 1962 and 1965, Kusama exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum by invitation of artist-curator Henk Peeters. Afterward, she donated Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show to the museum. For Kusama, the phallic forms of her aggregation sculptures were a way of expressing her fear of sex, caused by childhood experiences when her mother had her spy on her father during his affairs with other women.

Gift by the artist, 1965


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