The Economist has a different take on Yayoi Kusama that puts her as a rival to not only Jackson Pollock but also Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst:
Ms Kusama has made at least two significant contributions to the history of post-war art. In the late 1950s, shortly after moving to New York, she made large abstract works in which white loops of hand-painted mesh keep a black background at bay. At first glance these canvasses look like flat monochromes, but a longer gaze suggests that they are undulating oceans of dots. These works were a riposte to abstract-expressionist pictures, such as Jackson Pollock’s “drip” paintings; the compositions were more radical and the process of producing them more intense. Most important was the fact that Ms Kusama’s abstractions announced the arrival of the next notable art movement, minimalism.
These paintings, which Ms Kusama called “Infinity Nets”, helped her protect herself from the “void” she most feared. In 1961 she created an “Infinity Net” that measured 33 feet (10 metres) across, an obsessive work that betrayed the scale of both her need and her ambition. Ms Kusama has never stopped making “Net” paintings, although these now come in a range of colours. Her endless series is a forerunner of Damien Hirst’s never-ending production of spot paintings.
Ms Kusama was also ahead of her time in creating installation art. In 1963 “Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show” at the Gertrude Stein gallery featured a rowing boat filled with phallic sculptures installed in a room papered with 999 black-and-white photographic reproductions of the work. This surreal Pop piece was influential in the way it took art outside the frame and invaded a whole room. Three years later, in 1966, Andy Warhol imitated her treatment of walls with his “Cow Wallpaper”. About Warhol, Ms Kusama has said: “We were like rival gang leaders, enemies in the same boat.”
Cosmic Queen (The Economist)