When I was in London last month I visited the Tate Modern one afternoon to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition. I've been meaning to go since it opened back in February and I'm really pleased I got chance to see it before it closes in a couple of weeks.
The exhibition explores Kusama's life, work and friendships throughout the decades charting her struggle as a fledgling artist to her present day work. Alongside her work, letters, airline tickets, posters and news clippings tell her story.
Her paintings, sculptures and large installations reflect her experiences and capture her life. Her performance art where she encouraged people to paint polka dots on each others bodies during the free love hippie movement of the 1960's is explored, and her often phallic sculptures are on show. She began to integrate photographs of herself into her work surrounded by her beloved polka dots. Her signature polka dots are seen throughout the exhibition.
One of my favourite displays is 'I'm Here, but Nothing' which is a darkened room covered in coloured fluorescent polka dots which shine in the dim light. It's suggested the dots could be read as Kusama's attempt to stage her past hallucinations in which she senses the physical world overtaken by repeated forms.
The 'Infinity Mirror Room' provides a spectacular finale to the exhibition. As you walk through the infinite space the lights change colour creating a magical effect. This specially designed room is the largest of Kusama's installations. The experience offers the opportunity for the viewer to explore and be surrounded by their own image, suspending their sense of self and gaining a glimpse into the world of Kusama.
The exhibition runs at the Tate Modern until June 5th. It's a truly fascinating look into Kusama's world and definitely worth a visit if you're in London.
Have you visited any exhibitions lately?