The Japanese artist will present new works, including paintings, sculpture, and a mirror room made especially for the show
When Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms opened at London’s Victoria Miro, people queued for hours just to get a glimpse of them. Images of visitors reflected in her artwork flooded social media and the exhibition travelled the world, captivating audiences as it went.
This October, Kusama’s art will return to the London gallery which has exhibited her work for two decades, Victoria Miro. The major exhibition will feature new work by the artist, including paintings, sculptures, and – perhaps with 2016’s queues in mind – a large-scale Infinity Mirror Room, which has been created specifically for this show.
The Infinity Mirror Room will encase gallery visitors in a large mirrored room with paper lanterns covered in polka dots hanging from the ceiling. The impetus of the installation is to convey “the illusion of being unmoored in endless space” by fully immersing anyone who enters.
Kusama, now nearing her 90th birthday, has yet to slow down her artistic output, continuing to create new work, as well as expanding on older ones. This includes My Eternal Soul, a series of paintings which are ongoing, and feature eyes, faces, and, of course, the dots she is so acclaimed for.
The pumpkin – having existed within the artist’s oeuvre since the late 1940s – will return in the form of bronze sculptures painted red, yellow, and green, covered in black dots. The symbolism behind the pumpkin goes back to Kusama’s childhood, as her family earned a living cultivating plant seeds, and the kabocha squash populated the fields surrounding their home. She explained in her book Infinity Net: the Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, “It seems that pumpkins do not inspire much respect. But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual balance.”
Also important to Kusama’s work are flowers, which, Victoria Miro states, “reflect the dualism between the natural and the organic found throughout her art”. Large-scale flowers made of bronze and painted boldly will adorn the gallery’s waterside garden in an attempt to “straddle a line between nature and exuberant artifice”.
Kusama’s works will also be included at the Hayward Gallery’s autumnal show Space Shifters. Opening in September, the artist’s “Narcissus Garden” – currently installed in New York – will feature in the exhibition dedicated to “leading international artists whose work alters or disrupts our sense of space and re-orients our understanding of our surroundings”. In October, the film Kusama – Infinity will also open in theatres, providing a feature-length documentary that will explore her career, from her upbringing in conservative Japan, to her time spent in New York amongst the city’s avant-garde movement, and her rise to international fame.
Yayoi Kusama will run at London’s Victoria Miro from 3 October – 21 December 2018
Read a 2016 Dazed Digital interview with the artist here