Friday, February 17, 2012

Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern

I went to see the exhibition of Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern,exhibition info here drawn by her use of colours and the installation Infinity Room. I remembered her polka dot works and the sculptural pieces from some years ago, but hadn't seen the installations or much of her work at Tate Modern.

The first thing that hits you are the large red and white balls out side of the exhibition its self. I watched quite a few people interacting with them, adults and children alike. I enjoyed taking a few street photos there too.

Inside the exhibition I was struck by how interesting sticky dots and paper rings can be on mass on paper. A lot has been written about the obsessiveness in Yayoi Kusama's work, something she talks about too and there are many examples of multiple layers and patterns to see.In one of the installations, you walk into a room just lit by UV light, where furniture walls and ceiling are covered in coloured dots.

Yayoi has used polka dots since a child and in her happenings in the 1960's she covered people in polka dots.In one of her films in the exhibition you see Yayoi even covering a cat in polka dots and filming it too.

Quite a number of her sculptural works were on show including the facinating pieces of furniture, ladders and shoes covered in phallic shapes. They look like extrusions of clay arising from the objects themselves and do seem to convey a certain sense of unease as well as facination.

In the Infinity room an installation set up for this exhibition, Yayoi uses coloured light , mirrors and water to create a wonderful space. Inside the darkened room the lights change and looking all around you see what appears to be infinite reflections stretching into the distance. I stayed there quite a long time, entranced by the vision.

Yayoi has been voluntarily staying in a psychiatric hospital in Japan since 1977 and working continually in a studio nearby. She says her art has saved her life.
Yayoi Kusama's website is here

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