Yayoi Kusama Exhibition at Tate Modern

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern, which opens this week. Jenny and I popped into the press view to find out more about the polka dot obsessed artist.

Hannah’s view:

I felt a childlike excitement as I wandered through rooms filled with glow-in-the dark polka dots, colourful lights and big, bright pictures.

My favourite bit was the Infinity Mirrored Room, a new work created especially for the show, where colour-changing lights are reflected in infinity in the mirrored walls. Another highlight was I’m Here But Nothing, a darkened living room covered in fluorescent polka dots, which aims to recreate the hallucinatory episodes experienced by Kusama.

The show gives a good insight into the quirky artist’s life and career, from early illustrations made in Japan to cutting-edge films created during her time in New York. But most of all, it’s really good fun!

Jenny’s view:

I’d been looking forward to the Yayoi Kusama retrospective at Tate Modern, after seeing the wonderful Dots Obsession piece at the Hayward Gallery a couple of years ago.

The exhibition didn’t disappoint, particularly the two immersive installations – being surrounded by glowing UV dots or in an “infinite room” of mirrors did a good job of conveying the hallucinations Kusama has suffered from all her life.

There’s so much variety in this exhibition – from the dark paintings of her early career, to the calming Infinity Net paintings, to the psychedelic canvases she created in the 80s and 90s. I’m seeing spots (literally)!

Yayoi Kusama is at Tate Modern from 9 February to 5 June 2012

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