[May 26 2016]
Yoyoi Kusama’s biggest exhibition in London since her 2012 Tate Modern retrospective, this latest show features the Japanese artist’s new work, split between Victoria Miro’s Wharf Road and Mayfair locations. Paintings include the ‘Infinity-Nets’ pictures: swirling surfaces of tight brush twists which occasionally peak into impasto, and more from the ‘My Eternal Soul’ series of semi-abstract color-clash canvasses. Alongside these are selfie-trap mirror rooms, which will get most of the attention. One is lit by natural daylight (‘Where the Lights in my Heart Go’), a second by lanterns in Kusama’s famed kabocha squash leitmotif (‘All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins’), and a third by crystal and LED (‘Chandelier of Grief’). Hitting something of a purple patch, pumpkins are also captured in mirror-polished bronzes, and in trademark yellow and black acrylic on canvas (Pumpkin Xaq). You could complain about the obsessive repetition, but that would be to miss the point (or at least to misinterpret it). Kusama, the subject of recent and upcoming shows in Denmark, Sweden and the US, is still able to wield something inescapably magical.
Text and photo Jethro Turner