Yayoi Kusama at Louisiana Museum
If you’ve been following The Copenhagen Tales for a little while, you already know that I’m a fan of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, just about half an hour north of Copenhagen (you can find my previous posts here and here). And if you’re following the museum on Instagram, you will have noticed the crazy colorful pictures recently of a new exhibit by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Born in 1929 in a conservative Japanese family, Yayoi Kusama turned into one of the most fascinating modern art personalities of the sixties and seventies. Her style is truly special – eccentric, colorful, psychedelic, with repetitive patterns, it’s definitely very unique and an experience. She was also one of the very first artists to work with installation art. This retrospective exhibit is the first one in Scandinavia, and it’s definitely worth a visit!
The artist herself has been quoted with saying that she’s always felt entrapped in her own mind, body, and heart, and that her art is a way for her to transcend this feeling. Since 1971, she has been living in a psychiatric hospital, by her own choice. The exhibit at Louisiana offers a glimpse into what it must be like inside her mind.
We arrived on a beautiful late October Sunday, and were completely shocked to find a huge line already outside the door – I had never had to wait in line before! A bit discouraged, we almost decided to go back home, but luckily didn’t. In the little front yard of the building, we were greeted by three huge metal pumpkins, which were part of the exhibit.
Once we’d made our way into the door and to the exhibit, we found ourselves in a room full of dotted paintings – they were all HUGE and must have taken forever to complete. Next up were some installations as well as smaller artworks, which often included fabric and plush.
There’s a lot of hilariousness in this one, but “Washing Done” cracked me up!
All of a sudden, we were already standing in line for one of the two separate little mirror rooms – only 4 to 5 persons allowed in at a time. This following room is probably one of the ones you’ve seen most on Instagram: a fully mirrored room, a platform in the middle surrounded by little plush/ fabric … things, white with red dots. Once they closed the door behind us, it was really eerie, as we were completely surrounded by ourselves and these red and white minions!
As we were ushered out, I managed to snap a little self-portrait.
Also spotted: ca. 17 boyfriends carrying my ca. 17 purses out of the room!
Outside the room, these ladies were gettin’ their groove on.
We made our way to the next full-room installation: the yellow room! Also heavily instagrammed, this was all yellow and black dots, floor to ceiling. In the middle of the room stood a mirrored box, filled with more yellow-and-black pumpkins. Freaky!
As a fan of German soccer club Borussia Dortmund, I felt right at home with this choice of colors!
After waiting in line again (this exhibit would be perfect for British people!), we were allowed into the second little mirrored room. This one was dark, the platform surrounded by water, and the room was filled with little color-changing lights dangling from the ceiling. As the door closed, it felt like standing in the middle of a star-lit sky – absolutely brilliant!
Not sure how this could be topped, we walked right into a room that looked like a unicorn had puked rainbows all over it. Initially completely white, Yayoi Kusama had asked that the guests help create art – we were allowed to pick a colored, circular sticker to place anywhere we wanted.
Even the fruit bowl!
I love me a good, interactive exhibit. There was a piano in the room, and a girl simply sat down and started playing. She was really good, too!
The next, and final, room was filled with giant, red balloons and what looked like floating devices, but would probably be completely useless in a pool. As you can see, people really loved to snap pictures of themselves in the exhibits!
On the way out, we saw some huge, colorful paintings – but to be honest, after that absolute overkill of colors and shapes, I was hardly capable of taking in any more. Those Louis Vuitton heels look awesome, though!
Minds blown, we left the exhibit under the watchful eyes of the artist herself – well, in the form of a self-portrait installation, mounted over the exit stairs.
I would strongly suggest that you do yourself a favor and go see this in-sane exhibit – it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.
How about you? Have you seen the exhibit, or are you planning to? What did you think – what are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Strandvejen 13, Humblebæk. The Yayoi Kusama exhibit is showing until mid January 2016. Read more about the exhibit here.