Yayoi Kusama’s Give Me Love.
Yayoi Kusama has been creating her mesmerizing, usually-dotted works since the 1950s, but it feels like in recent years that the art fans of of New York City have really fallen hard for this remarkable Japanese artist and her hallucinatory style. For example, my first encounter with one of Kusama's millions-of-lights Infinity Rooms was back in the late aughts, and even at that late date you could waltz right in, no waiting, and spend pretty much as long as you wanted zoning out on the twinkling loveliness. By the time Kusama's Infinity Room came to David Zwirner in 2013, the line to get in was at least an hour long (and you could only linger inside for 45 seconds). The point is: whenever Kusama does something these days, it does not go unnoticed… which is being proven true once again with her new exhibition at the 19th Street Zwirner gallery, called Give Me Love and featuring the awesomely participatory Obliteration Room.
Yayoi Kusuma at David Zwirner
First the things: when I went to see Yayoi Kusuma at David Zwirner on Saturday afternoon the line to get into the Obliteration Room seemed prohibitively lengthy at first glance, but it actually moved pretty quickly, because they let in a dozen or so folks at a time. And it's totally worth it! The concept is here is brilliantly simple. Everything in the furnished room (complete with kitchen!) is painted gleaming white, and each visitor is handed a sheet of brightly-colored dot stickers, which they apply anywhere and everywhere. And everyone take lots of photos which, these days, is at least half the point. Anyway, the Obliteration Room looks fantastic, the crazy explosions of color like you're living for a couple of minutes inside Kusama's head. It's also entertaining to see people getting creative with their dots, especially when affixed to various body parts.
Yayoi Kusama's Give Me Love
But Give Me Love isn't only about the dot stickers. In the big "garage" space behind the cute little house-facade that contains the Obliteration Room are ten or so of Kusama's giant stainless steel pumpkins, mirror-polished for maximum shine and distorted, fun-house reflections, and either painted or hole-punched with dots. It's like the world's trippiest pumpkin patch. Finally, inside the gallery proper are a generous selection of Kusama's new "My Eternal Soul" series, fabulously bright and colorful paintings that are large-scale, swirly, slightly insane, very easy to get lost in. The whole exhibition is terrific, and well worth a trip to Chelsea. Oh and at their 20th Street space David Zwirner has four new, predictably (but wonderfully) monolithic pieces by Richard Serra, so make sure you stop in there, too.
For More Information on Yayoi Kusama's Give Me Love
Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love will be at David Zwirner (the one at 519 and 525 West 19th Street) through June 13. David Zwirner is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.