It’s the most memorable marriage of fashion and art since Louis Vuitton enlisted Takashi Murakami for a 2002 collaboration (which reached its apex with a 2007 show at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art that saw the building of a full-on Louis Vuitton boutique in lieu of the typical museum store). Now, LV’s artistic director, Marc Jacobs, has commissioned a talent well-known to art-world insiders, if not yet the general public: the tantalizing Yayoi Kusama. This Japanese-born octogenarian lived and worked in NYC during the heady ‘60s, where she painted, rubbed shoulders with Warhol, was praised by Donald Judd, was the paramour of Joseph Cornell and staged wild happenings, including a nude romp in Central Park, where she decorated the skin of fellow participants with her pervading dot imagery. The artist then entered a period of obscurity. When she moved back to Japan in the ‘70s, she admitted herself into the Tokyo mental hospital where she still lives, albeit leaving daily to work in her nearby studio. Her last big moment was a solo show at MoMA in 1998. Now she’s back with a touring international retrospective that began at the Reina Sofia in Madrid, traveled to the Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London, and concludes with a flourish at the Whitney Museum of American Art this summer (through September 30). But it’s arguably Louis Vuitton’s project with Kusama that will imprint her yellow-and-black and red-and-white dot obsession on the popular consciousness. Watch for the artist to take over LV store windows worldwide, coinciding with the launch of an intensely covetable collection of ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewelry and leather goods including the statement bag, which is the tip-top of this scribe’s wish list for an entrance-making arrival at any art opening. (FYI: Kusama also has a Texas connection. In 1997, Houston’s Rice Gallery mounted one of the first American shows for the rediscovered artist, and top Texas collector Lester Marks owns a pair of dot-covered Yayoi mannequins.) At the Louis Vuitton boutique; louisvuitton.com.
Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama Collection
Louis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama window