The main purpose for our trip to Copenhagen, was a selfish one on my part. I wanted to see an exhibition at the Louisiana Museum. They were holding a Yayoi Kusama retrospective. I have long been a fan of this woman and the exhibition did not disappoint!
Kusama left Japan and moved to the states in 1957, first to Seattle before settling in New York. There she became a fixture within the avant-garde. She mixed with and influenced the work of Andy Warhol and others. She considered Eva Hess and Joseph Cornell close friends. She designed “happenings” all over NYC, usually involving nudity and conceived to protest the Vietnam War. She moved back to Japan in 1972 and slowly became forgotten. But not by everyone! Over the last 10 or so years, I have seen such a resurgence of her presence and it makes me tremendously happy.
The Louisana and Kusama have a strong relationship. She is truly appreciated by the museum and I can tell you by the number of people that flocked to the exhibit, she is worshiped by the people as well.
The exhibition was all encompassing. Three of her pumpkin statues greeted you in the courtyard. The show moved through her life and work, including films and sketchbooks. The scale truly gets you. The size of some of her pieces are almost unreal. They dwarf you. You don’t just enter her installations you also become a part of them. You are totally encompassed within them, the floors, walls, ceilings all covered in her polka dots.
I was delighted to see her pumpkins and I was especially delighted to see and take part within the “Obliteration Room”. Where visitors were given different colored polka dot stickers and allowed to place them on any surface of the white room. The room gradually becomes obliterated by polka dots.
There is something so unique about this museum. The modern design; the light and openness created by expansive windows; and the surrounding grounds filled with the joys of nature and one hell of a breathtaking view across the sound, all work to add the magic of the place. Seeing Kusama’s work exhibited within their space made it all the more special.