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Yayoi Kusama—the one we know and love—is back again, and this time, she’s presenting at two of David Zwirner’s New York locations with a colorfully conceptual exhibition filled with thousands of her prized polka dots titled “Give Me Love.” The exhibition closes June 13, so make sure you check it out this week
Since her first solo show in Japan in 1952, Kusama has been twisting perceptions and bending boundaries with her famed immersive illusions, collaborations, and infinity-based installations all over the world. Abstraction, conceptualism, and pop art all seem to mesh together in her invested pieces of art, and there is much reason as to why.
Known to have had a serious nervous disorder and battling hallucinations since childhood, Kusama has been seeing a conglomeration of dots ever since she was ten. Her fascination with expressing herself appropriately, and relating to their ever-present relationship, has led to her past 38 years in a Tokyo psychiatric hospital, where she has a studio opposite her room, and still paints at least six days a week.
Her previous works of art such as A Dream I Dreamed and Transmigration both toyed with her polka dot obsession, and even her collaboration with Louis Vuitton showcased a new form of fashion in exterior, interior, apparel, and accessory design. She seems to be everywhere all at once, and this proves to be especially true in her recent group of work: new paintings from her “My Eternal Soul” series; new polka-dotted pumpkin sculptures; and a re-make of her 2002’s “The Obliteration Room.”
Both Zwirner’s galleries—519 and 525 West 19th Street—are filled to the brim with her unique style. Her large-format My Eternal Soul paintings confess a bit of her autobiography by way of her own art. Her popular mirrored, polka-dotted pumpkins made of stainless steel make a return, as they once gained recognition in the 1950s, and their prominence in the 1980s. The Obliteration Room, however, is the main topic of conversation.
Built as to mimic a suburban, American home, the installation presents a house’s exterior, and gives off the impression that the residential setting will be filled with familiar objects: a kitchen counter, bookshelves, etc. While that home setting still exists, the entirety of the home is, throughout the course of the show (thanks to the visitors receiving circular stickers) covered by dots of all sizes and colors. The interior dissipates into a blur of colors, and a sense of familiarity blends together too.
“New ideas come welling up every day…now I am more keenly aware of the time that remains and more in awe of the vast scope of art. I believe that the creative urge in art is born of quiet, solitary contemplation and takes flight from the silence of the soul’s repose in the form of rainbows of shimmering light,” said Kusama. “I feel how truly wonderful life is, and I tremble with undying fascination for the world of art, the only place that gives me hope and makes life worthwhile.”
Give Me Love is on view at the David Zwirner gallery until June 13, 2015.