Yayoi Kusama Retrospective Explores Her Legacy In Polka Dots
Yayoi Kusama is a true singular figure in modern art. The internationally renowned Japanese born and based contemporary artist rose to prominence through her polka-dot universe and has been the subject of major exhibitions in the US, UK, Taiwan and Mexico. The exhibition, on display at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, unfolds Kusama’s life’s work in a comprehensive retrospective, the first in Scandinavia. The Exhibition titled, “In Infinity,” shows the artist’s work in chronological order, allowing visitors to witness the evolution of Kusama’s highly original and tremendously popular creations. ‘In Infinity’ spans more than six decades and features a variety of the many artistic media in which Kusama has worked: from visual art to performance, film, literature and design.
Divided into six themed areas – Sprouts, Infinity, Accumulations, The Priestess of the Polka Dots, Cosmos and Kusama’s World – ‘In Infinity’ brings together everything from artist’s early drawings and sketchbooks never before exhibited, to her distinctive polka dot installations, to a new series of paintings, which the 86 year old created specifically for the exhibition at Louisiana.
The first section, “Sprouts,” explores her early years as an artist, finding her style while living in provincial Japan. The next gallery, “Infinity,” showcases much of Kusama’s breakthrough work, such as the painting series Infinity Nets.
In the following gallery, “Accumulations,” we find Kusama’s oeuvre as she befriends prominent artists such as Andy Warhol and Donald Judd. It was during this time period that she developed the fundamental themes of her life’s work: fantasies of infinity and dizzying spaces into which one can disappear. The next, “The Priestess of Polka Dots” features 1960s design objects from Kusama’s work at her own design firm.
The final space, “Cosmos,” comes full circle as visitors see her more recent, nature-inspired motifs, first witnessed in her earliest work but now rendered in large paintings and sculptures.
Other works on show in the retrospective are collaborations between Kasuma with major fashion brands Issey Miyake and Louis Vuitton including a full-scale recreation of the multi-tentacled spotted window decoration Kasuma created for Vuitton. The artist collaborated with the fashion label in 2012, for which she created a collection of garments and a concept store at Selfridges department store in London.
The exhibition closes with Kusama’s My Eternal Soul series of paintings – an ongoing project. ‘In Infinity’ opened on 17 September 2015 and continues until 24 January 2016 at the South Wing of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, situated on the coast north of Copenhagen.
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