Yayoi Kusama’s name is synonymous with two things: polka dots and pumpkins. An exhibition dedicated to the artist’s small-scale paintings of pumpkins will take place at London’s Omer Tiroche Gallery from 1 March to 1 June.

Consisting of eight works, Yayoi Kusama: Small Pumpkin Paintings is the first gallery to publicly display this body of work in the UK.

Pumpkins have been a recurring motif in Kusama’s work. She first experimented with them when studying at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts in the 1940s. She later left the school in pursuit of more avant-garde styles, but the pumpkins stayed with her, becoming an obsession. The symbolism of the pumpkin is also deeply personal for the artist: Kusama’s family lived off pumpkin dishes throughout her youth.

“I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual base.” Yayoi Kusama

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