Categories ArtPosted on

Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro

A new exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is on display at Victoria Miro’s Galleries until 30th July 2016.

A new exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is on display at Victoria Miro’s Galleries until 30th July 2016.

KUSA_VMG Mayfair 2016 a
Installation, Yayoi Kusama 25 May – 30 July 2016

Victoria Miro is a long-established art gallery that first opened in Cork Street, Mayfair in 1985. The gallery quickly earned acclaim for showing the work of established and emerging international artists, and for nurturing the careers of young artists from the UK. In 2000, the Victoria Miro Gallery relocated to a huge former furniture factory situated between Hoxton and Islington in northeast London. With exhibition spaces on two floors, this gallery is almost unique in London for having its own garden, a beautiful landscaped area overlooking a restored stretch of the Regent’s Canal at Wenlock Basin, which has been used to great effect for installations by gallery artists such as Yayoi Kusama herself.

KUSA_VMG Mayfair 2016 c
Installation, Yayoi Kusama 25 May – 30 July 2016

Living and working in Tokyo, and having exhibited with Victoria Miro since 1998, Yayoi Kusuma’s current exhibition features new paintings, pumpkin sculptures and mirror rooms, all made especially for this installation. This is the artist’s most extensive exhibition at the gallery to date, and it is the first time that her famous mirror rooms have gone on view in London since Kusama’s major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012.

KUSA_VMG_2016 b
Installation, Yayoi Kusama 25 May – 30 July 2016

For the exhibition at the Wharf Road galleries, she has created three mirror rooms: Pumpkin’s Infinity Mirrored Room, Chandelier of Griefand and Where the Lights in My Heart Go, all of which place the viewer within a universe of varying proliferating reflections. New paintings displayed alongside these immersive rooms continue an enduring preoccupation with multiplying polka dots and dense scalloped ‘infinity net’ patterns – Kusama’s obsessive repetition of these forms on canvas, which she has described as a form of active self-obliteration, responds to hallucinations first experienced in childhood. The pumpkin, another motif that she has returned to throughout her career, is also present in the form of new polished mirror sculptures.

KUSA1018_All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins_2016 a
Yayoi Kusama
All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016

On show at Victoria Miro Mayfair, are new paintings from the important ongoing series My Eternal Soul, which Kusama first began in 2009. Each is a flatly painted monochrome field that abounds with imagery, including eyes, faces in profile, and other more indeterminate forms, often in pulsating combinations of colour.

KUSA1018_All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins_2016 c
Yayoi Kusama
All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016

It’s difficult to define Yayoi Kusama’s style. Influenced by Surrealism, Minimalism, Pop Art, the Zero and Nul movements, Eccentric Abstraction and Feminist art, she resists any singular classification. Born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929, she studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in the late 1950s, and by the mid-1960s had become well known in the avant-garde world for her provocative happenings and exhibitions.

KUSA1019_Chandelier of Grief_2016
Yayoi Kusama
Chandelier of Grief, 20166

Since this time, Kusama’s extraordinary artistic endeavours have spanned painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, performance, film, printmaking, installation, and environmental art as well as literature, fashion (most notably in her 2012 collaboration with Louis Vuitton), and product design. She has just been selected as one of TIME Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People and recently named the world’s most popular artist by various news outlets, based on figures reported by The Art Newspaper for global museum attendance. Indeed, her exhibitions were consistently the most visited worldwide last year, with three museum tours simultaneously travelling through Asia, Central and South America and Scandinavia, all drawing record-breaking attendances.

Yayoi Kusama MY HEART’S ABODE, 2016 Acrylic on canvas 194 x 194 cm 76 3/8 x 76 3/8 in

Work by the artist is held in museum collections throughout the world, including Tate Modern, London; Tate Gallery, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Helsinki Art Museum; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, amongst many others.

Yayoi Kusama SHEDDING TEARS TO THE SEASON, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 194x194x7cm 763/8×763/8×23/4in

Victoria Miro
16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
020 7336 8109
Angel or Old Street tube (Northern Line)
Buses 43, 214 and 394 stop on City Road

Victoria Miro Mayfair
14 St George Street
London W1S 1FE
020 3205 8910
Oxford Circus tube (Central, Victoria and Bakerloo Lines)
No tickets required
Closed Sundays & Mondays (including Bank Holidays)


  • Text Carmen Espinosa
  • Courtesy KUSAMA Enterprise, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama

Seen this week

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Halloween at Sexy Fish

In London, you don’t go on a night out so much as partake of a new experience. Leave it to the gloriously named Sexy Fish in Mayfair to add a unique event to this year’s Halloween calendar.

Categories ArtPosted on

Ladies of the Press at Sluice Biennial

SEEN headed up to Hackney recently, there to peruse this year’s Sluice Biennial. A large and airy building at Morning Lane housed fascinating creative projects by artists and creators who have come together under the Sluice banner. What SEEN particularly liked was the variety of work on display and the informal atmosphere in which it …

Categories EntertainmentPosted on

The Castle at the Space: SEEN Reviews

SEEN was not that familiar with the work of Howard Barker prior to seeing ‘The Castle’ but feels she must rectify that situation. A powerful piece on the nature of masculinity, war, gender roles and the essential unreliability of religious faith, ‘The Castle’ benefits from a powerhouse cast and a stripped-back set, making the most of the Space’s environment.

Categories MusicPosted on

Original Swimming Party Release ‘Biggest Curse’

Electronic experimental duo Original Swimming Party, have announced the release of their new single  ‘Biggest Curse’ featuring vocalist Moonchild Sanelly. Taken from their forthcoming remix EP, the single is now available to stream from October 6th.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Heist Bank Beer Festival

Beer connoisseurs would do well to get themselves along to the Heist Bank Beer Festival this weekend, the 14th and 15th October. The bar in Paddington will be celebrating the finest keg and cask beers known to humanity, from UK brewers, Fourpure, Beavertown, Thornbridge and Wild Beer Co., who will headline, launching special seasonal releases …