Tuesday 22 January 2019

Japanese artist behind naked protests wins Elizabeth line commission

Yayoi Kusasma, who wears a brightly-coloured wig, has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (Yayoi Kusama/PA)
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (Yayoi Kusama/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

A Japanese artist who staged naked protests is creating new artwork for the Elizabeth line.

Yayoi Kusama, 88, organised dancers with polka dots spray-painted on their naked bodies to congregate outside the New York Stock Exchange in the 1960s, in what she called an Anatomic Explosion.

Her permanent installation for the new Elizabeth line, though, will have no naked participants.

A digital rendering of Yayoi Kusama's Infinite Accumulation (Yayoi Kusama)

Infinite Accumulation features flowing, mirrored steel sculptures, each up to 12 metres wide and 10 metres tall, supported by tubular rods.

The work is a development of Kusama’s trademark polka dot motif.

Kusasma, who wears a brightly-coloured wig, has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people and, according to the Art Newspaper, most popular artist for global museum attendance.

Portrait of Conrad Shawcross (Marc Wilmot)

It was also announced on Tuesday that British artist Conrad Shawcross will create a bronze sculpture at the same station, Liverpool Street.


Manifold is a bronze sculpture which takes inspiration from musical harmony, mapping “the complex shape of a specific piano chord that is falling into silence”.

Kusama and Shawcross are the final two artists commissioned to create new works of public art for the Crossrail Art Programme.

An exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London showcases the ideas of all nine artists who are creating work for seven stations on the new Elizabeth line, opening in December.

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