This week’s destination was the Victoria Miro gallery in London to see celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s paintings and sculptures as a part of her museum tour throughout Europe.
Renowned for her use of polka dots (or what the artist herself calls ‘infinity nets’) and mirrored rooms to depict the hallucinations she began experiencing in early childhood through to her adult life, Kusama’s work is at once both strangely formidable and beautiful, surpassing Pop art and Minimalism to exist in a state of its own.
Kusama’s use of infinity nets can be traced back to when she was just ten years of age in the earliest record of her work: a drawing made in 1939 of a Japanese woman in a kimono in which the whole drawing is covered in dots.
The ‘veil’ or ‘net’ that Kusama depicts in her art encourages the viewer to examine her work in layers, both visually and conceptually. At once, her work identifies the parallels between reality and fantasy, using familiar objects such as pumpkins and chandeliers before repeatedly immersing them in dots, or perpetuating them in a mirrored image, creating something psychedelic whilst alluding to the sublime.
Kusama has previously spoken on the binaries in her work, particularly regarding her use of infinity nets and what they represent:
‘A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement … Polka dots are a way to infinity.’
‘All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins’
‘Chandelier of Grief’
Although her exhibition in London has come to an end, her work is still touring in Stockholm at the Moderna Museet and at HAM in Helsinki and is a must-see for art lovers.