Yayoi Kusama: Dot Obsessions at Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE

This solo exhibition by Yayoi Kusama at Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE includes a comprehensive selection of early works from the 1950s, as well as site-specific reproductions and interactive installations. From 1 October 2016 - 9 January 2017. 

 

Most recognised for her use of repetitive patterns, polka dots and nets, as well as her immersive, large-scale environments, Yayoi Kusama has worked in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film and performance. Moving from Japan to America in the 1950s, Kusama became a leading figure in the avant-garde movement in New York in the 1960s and a major contributor to the development of Pop Art. 

Since the age of ten, she has obsessively experimented with dots and the repetition of forms—covering photographs and drawings to ‘obliterate’ the image. Referred to as Self-Obliterations, Kusama would continue to develop this body of work that now extends from her early drawings and collages to include performance and film.

In this exhibition audiences are invited to take part in the The Obliteration Room (2002), an all-white reproduction of a traditional domestic setting that becomes a participatory installation. Visitors are offered brightly-coloured dot stickers and encouraged to place them on the various surfaces of the furnished room. 

The exhibition also features a selection of her works on paper dating from the 1950s. Small scale and delicately executed, these works show the artist’s early exploration of the almost microscopic dot and net patterns characteristic of her later works. Stemming from her hallucinations, these increasingly phantasmagorical and kaleidoscopic forms are also visible in her collage works from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s. A series of these works make up a large component of this exhibition. Produced after her return to Japan, these collages incorporate her signature ‘infinity nets’ and polka dot forms in lyrical, surreal dreamscapes.

Kusama’s choice of collage as a medium was inspired by her close relationship with the artist Joseph Cornell who gave her a selection of collage materials before his death in 1972. Cornell’s fascination with birds led to a series of aviary boxes that Kusama later references in her own works. Bird and other creatures are confined here in complexly patterned circles that appear almost like nuclei surrounded by auras and biomorphic fringes.

Biomorphic and anthropomorphic forms also appear in her ‘aggregation sculptures’ where organic forms appear to emerge from the surfaces of ready-made objects, like parasites, encasing and engulfing them. In this exhibition, iridescent silver anthropomorphic protuberances envelope a rowing boat, almost scale-like, a pattern similar to that of her infinity nets.

The exhibition concludes with more recent work in the central gallery. Twelve paintings from the ongoing My Eternal Soul series show the artist combining her obsessive patterns with brilliant colours in these large-scale works. Also in this gallery is Kusama’s 2013 multi-media installation The Dots Obsession, a series of oversized inflatable polka-dotted balls surrounding a domed infinity room. Entering the illusory infinity of this mirror-lined space, the viewer becomes part of the room, reflected endlessly along with the dots – a participant and ultimately a performer of Kusama's 'Dot Obsession'

Curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi.

Posted September 29 2016

Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: +44 (0)20 7336 8109

info@victoria-miro.com

View map

Victoria Miro Venice

Il Capricorno, San Marco 1994,

Calle Drio La Chiesa

30124 Venice, Italy

t: +39 041 523 3799 

info@victoria-miro.com
View map

Opening Times

London: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm. 

 

Venice: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–1pm & 2–6pm. 

 

We are also closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. 

 

Admission free. 



 

Enquiries

All general enquiries should be sent to
info@victoria-miro.com

 

All press enquiries should be sent to
press@victoria-miro.com
 
All rights and reproduction enquiries should be sent to
rights@victoria-miro.com


Victoria Miro does not accept unsolicited artist applications.

 

Before contacting or subscribing please read our Privacy Policy

 

We respect the choices you make about how you would like to hear from us. You will find links at the bottom of all emails we send from our mailing list which allow you to Update your preferences to change the way we contact you, or Unsubscribe if you want to opt out.

Subscribe

Staff contact details

Directors

Victoria Miro
W.P. Miro
Glenn Scott Wright
Divya Pande
Head of Directors' Office, Client and Business Development
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0903

Sales

Matt Carey-Williams
Senior Director, Head of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4345
Oliver Miro
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0496
Senior Director, Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0494
Clare Coombes
Director of Sales - Museum Acquisitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0919
Alessandra Modiano
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4346
Director – Venice
Direct line: +39 041 523 3799
Fern Warriner
Sales Associate; EA to Matt Carey-Williams
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0905
Mary Eleanor McNicholas
Art Fair Co-ordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0498
India Cawley-Gelling
Sales Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0)207 549 0429

Exhibitions

Erin Manns
Director of Exhibitions - Head of Department
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0423
Director of Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0918
Mary Taylor
Senior Production Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
Production and Artist Projects
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0426
Exhibitions Associate
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0901
Vortic Exhibitions Associate
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3962 4354
Virginia Sirena
Front of House Coordinator and Exhibitions Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109

Communications

Kathy Stephenson
Director of Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0422
Martin Coomer
Head of Editorial and Digital Content
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0915
Marisa J. Futernick
Digital and Social Media Consultant
Direct line: +1 (860) 549-2576
Katrina Millar
Communications, Marketing & Events Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)207 549 0499
Bea Bradley
Photography, Rights & Reproduction Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0428
Special Projects and Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0912
Design and Communications Coordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0499

Operations

Robert Holzberger
Director of Operations
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0495
Buildings and IT Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0914
Clare Rowe
Paper Archive and Records Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0493
Philip Ewe
Library Coordinator and Archive Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Adeline Guy
Registrar Director - Head of Department
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7324 0916
Jayne Archard
Senior Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)207 324 0910
Alice Panton
Senior Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0904
Elina Pelvanidi
Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4348
Emer Bermingham
Registrar, Project Manager
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4349

Technical Services

David Wood
Technical Operations Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0900
Jon Glazier
Head Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0425
Martin Fletcher
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3962 4340
Jonny Winter
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 9624 341
Rob Phillips
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Ross Taylor
Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492

Finance

Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109