Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Copenhagen | Yellowtrace

 

It won’t be the first time I tell you that Yayoi Kusama is one of my all-time favourite artists. Her nutty commitment to bright colours and polka dots thrills me to no end, so unsurprisingly, I was extremely excited to discovered that a major retrospective of her work was set to open at the amazing Louisiana Museum of Modern Art the same week we arrived to Copenhagen. True to my well documented style, major squeals of excitement and Tourette’s outburst ensued. Holy $hitballs! What are the chances? F*ck yes! etc. Charming, no?

At 86 years of age, Tokyo-based artist is a world-known figure in contemporary art – highly original, wildly eccentric and avant-garde. And although others are well and truly retired by her age, Kusama shows no hint of slowing down, regularly producing work from the mental institution where she voluntarily stays due to the illness she’s been battling since the 70s.

 

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Copenhagen | YellowtraceYayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The exhibition presents Kusama’s works from more than six decades and features a variety of the many artistic media in which she has worked: from visual art to performance, film, literature and design. The first section, Sprouts, is dedicated to the works of her youth – the earliest drawings and sketchbooks with nature subjects, which Kusama created as a self-taught artist in the Japanese provinces. The subsequent galleries focus on the ground-breaking change in Kusama’s work in the late 1950s when she emigrated to the USA and became part of the New York avant-garde scene.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceYayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceYayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
A major theme of the exhibition is Kusama’s enduring fascination with infinity and dizzying psychological spaces you can disappear into.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceYayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Gleaming Lights of the Souls is one of the most beloved pieces in the museum collection. The installation, dating from 2008, consists of a single space, 4 x 4m in size. The walls and ceilings are covered with mirrors; the floor is a reflecting pool; the viewers stand in the middle of the water on a platform. Hanging from the ceiling above are hundreds lamps that resemble glowing ping pong balls. These lamps change colour in a way that transport us into a special rhythm and pulse.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceYayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Obliteration Room is an interactive installation for children (and adults) where the rooms starts off completely blank, with every room surface, piece of furniture and decoration treated as a giant white canvas. Over the course of the exhibition, visitors are given a sheet of colour dot stickers so they can to make their contribution towards transforming the white space into one exploding with vibrant colours.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceYayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum Denmark, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

More of Kusama’s dots obsession and infinity rooms at Louisiana.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

‘In Infinity’ at Louisiana showcases Kusama’s life’s work unfolded as a comprehensive and fascinating retrospective. Kusama has gained world fame in recent decades for her universe of brightly coloured, sprawling patterns covering the surfaces of paintings and sculptures that spread across entire rooms. In the centre of this boundless visual universe stands Kusama herself, often wearing patterned clothes that make her blend in with her art.

A major theme of the exhibition is Kusama’s enduring fascination with infinity. She is an artist who gets her material from the inner reality. For over six decades, her art has revolved around the same basic themes: fantasies of infinity, dizzying psychological spaces you can disappear into and a desire to dissolve the ego and be swallowed up by the world. Infinity in Kusama’s art is at once a cosmic space, a spiritual idea and a psychological abyss. The attraction to this great void is both exciting and anxiety inducing.

“Yayoi Kusama
: In Infinity” at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark is on now through to 20th January 2016.

 

Related Stories:
George Clooney x Yayoi Kusama for W Magazine.
The Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama at GoMA in Brisbane.
#Yellowtracetravels // Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

 

p.s. Although not the focus of today’s story, it would be criminal not to share a few other images taken in and around beautiful Louisiana during our visit. See them in gallery below. Enjoy!

 

 


[All images © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
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Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Nick Hughes, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Interior Design, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places.

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