Yayoi Kusama

Victoria Miro, London / UK

October 3–December 21, 2018
October 2, 2018
Victoria Miro
16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW

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Victoria Miro is delighted to announce a major exhibition of new work by Yayoi Kusama. Taking place across the Wharf Road galleries and waterside garden, the exhibition features new paintings, including works from the iconic "My Eternal Soul" series, painted bronze pumpkin and flower sculptures, and a large-scale Infinity Mirrored Room.

Continuing to address the twin themes of cosmic infinity and personal obsession, the new works in this exhibition are testament to an artist at the height of her powers as she approaches her 90th birthday. Paintings from the artist’s celebrated, ongoing My Eternal Soul series are on view at Gallery II, Wharf Road. Joyfully improvisatory, fluid and highly instinctual, the My Eternal Soul paintings abound with imagery including eyes, faces in profile, and other more indeterminate forms, including the dots for which the artist is synonymous, to offer impressions of worlds at once microscopic and macroscopic.

The pumpkin form has been a recurring motif in Kusama’s art since the late 1940s and integrates many key aspects of her practice: the repeating pattern of dots, connotations of growth and fertility, and a palette of singular vibrancy. The artist’s family cultivated plant seeds in Matsumoto, and she was familiar with the kabocha squash in the fields that surrounded her childhood home. It was in early childhood that Kusama also began to experience the terrifying hallucinations that left her "dazzled and dumbfounded" by repeating patterns that engulfed her field of vision, a process she referred to as "self-obliteration." Works on display include new bronze pumpkin sculptures and paintings in a vibrant palette of red, yellow and green, adorned with tapering patterns of black dots that create a sophisticated geometry. Pulsating with energy, each work carries its own distinct mood and character.

The exhibition marks the debut of INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE which envelops visitors inside a large mirrored room with paper lanterns covered with polka dot patterns, which are suspended from the ceiling. Conveying the illusion of being unmoored in endless space, this latest example of Kusama’s immersive environments offers a sense of infinity through the interplay of the rhythmic patterns of colourful spots covering the black spherical lamps and the surrounding mirrors.

Entry to the exhibition is by free timed ticket via victoria-miro.com.

About the artist

For almost seventy years Yayoi Kusama has developed a practice, which, though it shares affiliations with movements such as Surrealism, Minimalism and Pop Art, resists any singular classification. Born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929, she studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in the late 1950s, and by the mid-1960s had become well known in the avant-garde world for her provocative happenings and exhibitions. Since this time, Kusama’s extraordinary artistic endeavours have spanned painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, performance, film, printmaking, installation and environmental art as well as literature, fashion and product design. In 2016, Kusama received the Order of Culture, one of the highest honours bestowed by the Imperial Family in Japan. Kusama is the first woman to be honoured with the prestigious medal for drawings and sculptures.

Kusama lives and works in Tokyo, where the Yayoi Kusama Museum opened in October 2017. Over the past decade there have been museum exhibitions of Kusama’s work enjoyed by millions of visitors in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.