Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
For the first time since Tate Modern’s 2012 retrospective, Yayoi Kusama fans will have the opportunity to see the artist’s famous mirror rooms in London. One of these, poetically titled All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, has been produced especially for the new exhibition at Victoria Miro. The show spans the gallery’s three locations and offers an extensive overview of Kusama’s current practice.
Stepping inside one of Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms is a surreal experience. In one, small holes in the box’s exterior allow pinpoints of light into an otherwise dark and highly reflective room. The effect makes you feel as if you are standing in space, with infinite stars stretching out all around you, even below your feet.
In another gallery, what appears to be a monolithic hexagonal structure slides open to reveal another mirror room, entitled The Chandelier of Grief. Every wall is mirrored, whilst in the centre is a large flashing chandelier. After a short time, you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the reproductions both of the pulsing lights and of yourself, stretching into the distance ad infinitum.
Yayoi Kusama’s work is deeply concerned with ideas of infinity and repetition. She sees the approach towards infinity as a form of self-obliteration, both physically and emotionally. This is something she also explores in her recent Infinity Nets paintings, where her brush strokes curve and circle to make net-like forms that sometimes curl around the edges of the canvases.
At 87, and with roots in both Japan and the US, Kusama is the grand dame of the international art world. She was recently the only visual artist to be included on TIME Magazine’s list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People. Certainly, her artworks are instantly memorable, addressing fundamental human concerns such as the self, childhood and the infinite. And the universal appeal of pumpkins, of course, which always offer a strange but undeniably fascinating aspect to her work. The exhibition at Victoria Miro offers some stunning recent works by Kusama, and it would be a crime to miss the opportunity to experience them.
Yayoi Kusama is at Victoria Miro from 25th May until 30th July 2016, for further information visit here.