‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ opens

 

A career-spanning survey of work by leading contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama opens at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from Saturday 4 November until 11 February 2018. ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ profiles the significant contribution of this much-loved contemporary artist. QAGOMA has enjoyed a long standing relationship with Kusama – dating back to 1989 – and over that time the Gallery has developed substantial holdings of the artist’s work.

Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ is presented in five thematic chapters and explores recurring motifs in the 88-year-old artist’s oeuvre. Delve into Kusama’s world with its seamless integration of Pop, Surrealism, Minimalism and psychedelia, using her trademark motifs of nets, dots, eyes and pumpkins, and a vocabulary of obsession, obliteration, accumulation, aggregation and infinity.

The free exhibition includes early painterly experiments, soft-sculpture and assemblage, performance documents, iconic ‘infinity rooms’ as well as large-scale installations including the eye-catching, polka-dotted inflatables. Figuring prominently are the ‘net’ paintings that have appeared consistently in Kusama’s practice since the late 1950s; and 24 brightly coloured paintings from the My Eternal Soul series which has been ongoing since 2009.

Yayoi Kusama / I WANT TO LOVE ON THE FESTIVAL NIGHT 2017 / Collection of the Artist, © © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore / Installation view at National Gallery Singapore, 2017
Yayoi Kusama / THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS 2015 / Collection of the Artist, © Yayoi Kusama / Installation view at National Gallery Singapore, 2017

Other highlights include I WANT TO LOVE ON THE FESTIVAL NIGHT 2015, an immersive hexagonal installation with external and internal mirrors and a floor of multi-coloured flashing lights and THE SPIRIT OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED TO THE HEAVENS 2017, a mirrored cube installation visitors can peer into where the internal reflections create the impression of a vast field of luminous gourds.

Also included are major artworks acquired by QAGOMA since 2002 – the infinity mirror room Soul under the moon 2002, the large sculpture Flowers that bloom at midnight 2011 and The obliteration room 2002-ongoing, an interactive installation that has toured to more than 20 venues in 15 countries and been viewed by more than 5 million people.

Yayoi Kusama / Soul under the moon 2002 / Mirrors, ultra violet lights, water, plastic, nylon thread, timber, synthetic polymer paint / The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 2002 with funds from Michael Simcha Baevski and The Myer Foundation, a project of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899-1999, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and The Yayoi Kusama Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Appeal / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / The obliteration room 2002 to present
Before the first dot
Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / The obliteration room 2002 to present
Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / The obliteration room 2002 to present / Furniture, white paint, dot stickers / Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery. Commissioned Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © Yayoi Kusama

Tickets are on sale now for Summer Up Late, from 5.30pm-10.00pm on Friday 19 January 2018. Surrounded by GOMA’s summer exhibitions – Summer Up Late will feature DJs, talks, bars, and live music from acclaimed Michigan-born, Berlin-based electronic producer and performer Laurel Halo, and independent Sydney-based producer and songwriter Lupa J. Summer Up Late tickets include exhibition entry to ‘Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images’ and ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’.

‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ has been co-curated by Reuben Keehan, Curator, Contemporary Asian Art, QAGOMA; Russell Storer, Deputy Director (Curatorial and Collections), National Gallery Singapore; and Adele Tan, Curator, National Gallery Singapore. Funding for insurance for the exhibition has been provided through the Queensland Government Exhibition Indemnification Scheme.
Feature image: Yayoi Kusama’s THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS 2015

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