Art Bathing Talk - Online Only · One work
Art Bathing
Online Only    One work
Yayoi Kusama, Flash Towards the 21st Century
1988, Acrylic on canvas
Visions of the Future
The Myth of the Artistic Genius

According to Jean-François Lyotard, the end of utopian visions and the great stories was signalled by the collapse of the communistic systems and the beginning of Post Modernism. What does visionary art mean, and can every artist to some degree be defined as visionary? Works of art are perceived as visionary by society when they can be distinguished by an innovative nature that radiates a certain liveliness. The perception of the artist as a visionary is inextricably linked to the great story of the genius artist. Although most of these great stories came to an end last century, the myth of the genius artist hasn’t lost its lustre. This seemingly indestructible idea of the artist as a visionary or genius is rooted in the 16th century. When the church was no longer the sole employer, artists started signing their works, which led to the awakening of self-awareness and confidence of the individual. In the public eye, an artist was born with a certain Ingenium, meaning that not all artistic skills could be learned but were a divine gift. This gift was no daemon or gift from above, no it was the artist who was the sole source of originality and inspiration. From then onwards, the artist was perceived, in analogy to God, as a divine creator who could capture things to come on canvas, stone, or whatever medium was used to channel this Divinus creative force.

Visionary Art

Visionary art aims to transcend the visionary world to portray or illustrate a broader perception of reality which also includes metaphysical and esoteric subjects or experiences of the artist. A reflection of what is beyond our visual reality is channelled by the artist through a divine force or altered state of being. Revealing a broad spectrum of new realities that each are translated by the distinctive characteristics of the artist’s mind onto the image surface. Symbolism, Cubism, Surrealism, Fantastic Realism but also Outsider Art can all be described as Visionary Art as the artists’ subjects resulted out of a profound mystical, spiritual, and inner awareness.

Detail 1
Detail 2
Yayoi Kusama’s Flash Forwards Towards the 21st Century

Yayoi Kusama has visualised her profound inner awareness onto paper, canvas, textiles, sculptures, novels, and films throughout her life spanning artistic career. She can be characterised as a profound visionary artist due to her unique visual language that translates her rich inner and real-life experiences for the viewers to see and understand onto a variety of mediums.

Stemming from her disease, the materialisation of Kusama’s dreams and hallucinations into visual art offers the possibility to immerse the beholder into the artist’s obsessions, repetitions, and accumulations. This experience is meant for everybody and aims to remove society’s narrow-minded thinking about people living at the fringes of society like herself where ‘other’ and ‘difference’ is an embraced strength as opposed to a divisive weakness.

Flash Forward Towards the 21st Century depicts a hallucinatory pattern of neon-coloured triangles that make you feel lightheaded when standing in front of it. In an instant flash, one feels that looking into the future could have the same dizzying effect as standing in front of a Yayoi Kusama painting.

Painted in 1988 Flash Forward Towards the 21st Century reflects the aesthetic of the eighties in which neon colours flourished in fashion, visual arts, movies, music videos, and advertisement that appealed to the young Gen X as being young, different, and youthful. Flash Forward to the 21st Century merges this bright eighties colour palette with a futuristic vision of the 21st century drawing the beholder into her hallucinatory mind in which time and space are infinite.

(Text by Drs. Quirine Verlinde)
YAYOI KUSAMA   Flash Towards the 21st Century, 1988
Acrylic on canvas, 25,7 × 20,9 inches (65,2 × 53 cm)
Warm regards,

Laszlo von Vertes & Team
Galerie von Vertes Zürich GmbH
Bahnhofstrasse 16
8001 Zürich Switzerland
Galerie von Vertes GmbH
Kantonsstrasse 1
8807 Freienbach · Switzerland