Yayoi Kusama review

Art Victoria Miro , Hoxton Until Friday December 21 2018
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Yayoi Kusama review
Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © YAYOI KUSAMA

At this point, no one really needs another Yayoi Kusama review. Her art is so distinctive, so clearly defined, so ubiquitous and so over-written about that no one really has anything to add that’s going to change your mind. She’s the world’s biggest art superstar. If you like her pumpkins and mirrors shtick, you’re going to like this show. If you don’t, you won’t. Easy. See ya later, I’m off to collect my pay cheque.

But let’s pretend for just one second that I’m not entirely pointless and go through the rigmarole anyway, huh?

This gallery show has everything you want from a Kusama exhibition. It’s got a big infinity mirror room filled with colour-changing paper lanterns that will have your notifications popping off. It’s got giant pumpkins made of bronze, enormous psychedelic flower sculptures that look like Homebase on acid and a handful of big, bold, ultra-precise abstract dot canvases. It’s all lovely, if a bit car showroom-y.

But the really good bit is way upstairs. Tucked away in VM’s second gallery space is a series of huge canvases. Where the ones below are precise and super-neat, these are totally free, rough and rushed. The paint is all blobby and skew-whiff. There are faces and suns, tentacles and leaves. They feel truly and properly personal. You can picture Kusama hard at work, totally absorbed in her psychedelic aesthetic exercises. They feel real, like her opportunity to escape into colours and shapes and memories. Reduced down to a therapeutic attempt to grasp a difficult, confusing world, there’s actually something quite sad about them.

But, you know, whatever. Go take a selfie in the mirror room, that’s where the real Insta gold is.

By: Eddy Frankel

Venue name: Victoria Miro
Address: 16 Wharf Rd
N1 7RW
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm
Transport: Tube: Angel
Price: Free
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    • Victoria Miro Free
    • Victoria Miro Free
    • Victoria Miro Free
    • Victoria Miro Free
    • Victoria Miro Free
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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3 people listening

What an exceptional exhibition. You cannot help but feel positive during this experience. Upon arrival you go into a room filled with colour changing disco balls with mirrors all around. This gives the illusion that the disco balls are infinite as well as the mirror image of yourself; it feels sort of magical. 

Along with the mirror room there are paintings  and sculptures of Kusama's famous pumpkins which are just incredible. She has a fascinating mind and the detail of her work is so fascinating. I'm so glad I got to see it and would highly highly recommend her work.

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