Tuesday, 5 July 2016

An Afternoon with Yayoi Kusama

Yakoi Kusama is one of Japan's biggest artistic exports. Her work is surreal and deeply concerned with the ideas of infinity and repetition which help inform her signature style. Her current practice is currently being shown at the Victoria Miro Galleries across London. The Wickenden Hutley team went on excursion to the East London gallery to experience the famous mirrored infinity rooms, paintings, sculptures and installations. 

The hype surrounding Yayoi Kusama's work is very real, and so were the queues!

We waited outside for just over an hour. Once we reached the front we were ushered to the outdoor terrace to experience the "Narcissus Garden"

873 stainless steel spheres measuring 30cm in diameter float in a pond as they reflect the surroundings and move with the wind creating interesting formations and sounds as they clash together.

Positioned alongside the Narcissus Garden is the first of the infinity rooms. 

"Where the Lights In My Heart Go". 

Once inside the 300cm x 300cm x 300cm box, we discover there are small holes which puncture the structure. The door closes behind us and these holes allow light into an otherwise dark and reflective room. The holes multiply and it feels like you're standing amongst infinite stars and we start to understand the excitement and awe that inevitably surrounds Kusama's work.

 We next head upstairs to see her Infinity Net paintings. 

The first glimpse we see of her love for pumpkins. The work is detailed and meticulous. 

In another gallery there is a hexagonal structure painted plain white from the outside. A sliding door reveals a single chandelier rotating and pulsating with light in the middle of a mirrored room. 

The Chandelier of Grief reproduces an infinity of amazing effects on reflective walls. 

The last of our visit to the Victoria Miro gallery was spent lining up for the most talked about room of them all. 

"All the Eternal Love I have For Pumpkins". 

The queue wraps around three mirror polished pumpkin sculptures which stand impressively outside the room.

 As we get closer we catch our first glimpses of the interior. 

Stepping inside "All the Eternal Love I have For Pumpkins" we are greeted with y
ellow and black spotted pumpkins lit from the inside like lanterns. The door closes and we are timed for 20 seconds. 

An infinity of these pumpkins is an incredible sight to see. 

Yayoi Kusuma: Sculptures, Paintings and Mirror Rooms is at Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7W. My Eternal Soul Paintings is at Victoria Miro, 14 St George St London, W1S 1FE. Both showing until the 30th of July 2016

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