Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro Gallery: 25 May – 30 July 2016

Yayoi KusamaExhib

My Heart’s abode, 2016


Yayoi Kusama

Selection of large paintings, very bright colours showing her ability to patiently and repetively repeat lines and patterns. Despite her age she still seems to inject an amazing energy into her art and although I am not ‘moved’ by these works I do admire what she still brings to anything she produces.

My favourite works of Yoyoi Kusama are her infinity net paintings, pure white continuous fish scalepatterns over large scale canvases.  I also like her early drawings.




Victoria Miro press release

These new works reflect her lifelong preoccupation with the infinite and sublime, as well as the twin themes of cosmic infinity and personal obsession, as found in pattern and repetition.

Distilled within her paintings are the themes and obsessions that characterise Kusama’s art. On show at Victoria Miro Mayfair, examples from her ongoing My Eternal Soul series encapsulate a surreal and humorous, as well as instinctual, approach to art making. Each painting abounds with imagery including eyes, faces in profile and other more indeterminate forms recalling cell structures, often in pulsating combinations of colour. Some appear psychedelically primordial: TALKS OF A FLOWER GARDEN floats fringed biomorphs with jewel-like nuclei suspended in shades of sky blue against a fiery expanse of orange. Composing lines, marks and dots in sedimentary-like layers, other examples, such as MY HEART’S ABODE and MY ETERNAL LIFE, bring to mind ancient landscapes and grand geological patterns.

It is with characteristic dynamism that the My Eternal Soul series has grown far in excess of the hundred works originally conceived by Kusama. Each spontaneous work pulses with a sense of the artist’s hand pushing ever onwards in its desire to recreate afresh. Yet there are nonetheless intimations of death and a preoccupation with mortality in these paintings, in titles such as I WILL STILL GO ON LIVING, SHEDDING TEARS TO THE SEASON and DYING PEOPLE, and in the affecting FACE OF YOUTH in which profiles and other fragmentary faces are depicted on shard-like areas of colour like precious relics.

Among the most existential of the new paintings, LIGHTS OF THE HEART contains at its centre a bright white square. A sense of enlightenment, solitude and nothingness, as well as flux and disorientation can be witnessed in these works. This is Kusama, a pioneer in her command of a variety of media, at her most personal and direct, relying on brush, paint and canvas alone. They reveal an artist overflowing with ideas and undiminished in her desire to depict the apparently contradictory, unpredictable and undepictable, well into her ninth decade.