See Inside London’s (Sold-Out) New Kusama Show, Full of Fantastic Flowers, Polka-Dot Pumpkins, and Mind-Blowing Mirror Rooms

You can't even get a ticket for Victoria Miro's new show by the Japanese art star. Here's what you're missing.

Installation view, Yayoi Kusama FLOWERS THAT SPEAK ALL ABOUT MY HEART GIVEN TO THE SKY (2018). Yayoi Kusama, PUMPKIN (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

The Kusama effect is reaching a fever pitch. Indeed, even before Yayoi Kusama‘s latest show opened at Victoria Miro‘s London gallery this week, the free timed tickets were already sold out.

This show at Miro coincides with the UK release of Heather Lenz’s film Kusama: Infinity, tracing the artist’s early life in Japan; her move to New York in the early 1960s, where she met and showed work alongside Donald Judd and Andy Warhol, among others; and her lifelong struggle with mental illness.

Kusama never shared the bright spotlight of other New York artists. In fact, as the film notes, many of the men in her orbit took her ideas and passed them off as their own, padding their personal successes with her original ideas. The more recent, seemingly unstoppable rise of her reputation has come thanks to a groundswell of support from institutions and the public interest in her immersive infinity rooms—driven, not least, by just how perfect these mirrored environments are as fodder for Instagram selfie culture.

Portrait of Yayoi Kusama. Photo: ©Yayoi Kusama, courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; David Zwirner, New York and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

At Miro, a new batch of sculptures includes cartoonishly large flowers blooming in every direction, massive polka-dotted pumpkins, a huge canvas of 20 squares that extends the length of the gallery wall, and of course, the piece de resistance, a darkly-lit infinity mirror room brimming with lanterns.

Below, see pictures of “Yayoi Kusama: THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE“:

Installation view, “THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE.” Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Installation view, “THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE.” Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Installation view, “THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE.” Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, PUMPKIN (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, PUMPKIN (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Installation view, Yayoi Kusama FLOWERS THAT SPEAK ALL ABOUT MY HEART GIVEN TO THE SKY (2018). Yayoi Kusama, PUMPKIN (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Installation view, Yayoi Kusama FLOWERS THAT SPEAK ALL ABOUT MY HEART GIVEN TO THE SKY (2018). Yayoi Kusama, PUMPKIN (2018). Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice. © Yayoi Kusama.

Victoria Miro Gallery is located at 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW.


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