Lemon
Squash

The following prints, created between 1984 and 2000, by Yayoi Kusama collect still-life representations of a tall glass of lemon squash, with the artist’s signature clashing fields of pattern, vibrant hues, and superimposed dots. The works are, as ever, celebratory: Kusama’s glass seems always to be more than half-full.

Yayoi Kusama Lemon Squash for sale

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Meaning & Analysis

Yayoi Kusama's Lemon Squash, some screen-prints and others lithographs, created between 1984 and 2000, are still-life representations of a tall glass of lemon squash, with the artist’s signature clashing fields of pattern, vibrant hues, and superimposed dots.

Leaning into the art historical tradition of the still life, Yayoi Kusama subverts the traditionalism of the genre of as she moves away from the realism of the old master’s paintings and finds her own way to evoke depth and form. She uses her iconic dots motif to give roundness and simulate transparency in her glasses, concentrating larger dots towards the centre of the cylindrical shape and radiating smaller dots away from this point.

In this unique means of representation, her iconic dots are not merely decorative, but provide depth and dimensionality in an evolved version of half-tone. Half-tone was an early and inexpensive printing method, which gained popularity in the early days of digital printing. Thus Kusama’s dots in her Lemon Squash prints possess a strongly retro appearance that is both of the artist’s trademark style and referencing the style of advertisement artworks of the early to mid-20th Century period. The prints in this series possess notable joie de vivre, embodying Kusama’s rare stoic personality and celebrating the vibrancy of everyday objects. One thing stands out: Kusama’s glass seems always to be more than half-full.