Fast forward to 2021, and the exhibition opens as we emerge from lockdown still unsure about our feelings. Yet Kusama's dazzling power remains intact. Her ability to transport us into the heart of her obsessional and mysterious imagination is both welcome and exhilarating.
The exhibition, which allows us to delve into some documentation of the artist's early work as well as a brand-new sculpture, is for most of us a chance to experience two of Kusama's major installations, kaleidoscopes of mirrors and lights.
Entering this first installation, entitled Chandelier of Grief, feels like disappearing into a world that is a complete contrast to the one we were just in, a world where space goes on forever. We are invited to walk around and lose ourselves in an amazing landscape of rotating crystal candelabras that seemingly recede into infinity. It is an optical illusion in which we find ourselves at the centre.
Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life, one of Kusama's largest, and most breathtaking works to date, was created for her retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012 and contributed to propelling her to fame.
The room is lined with mirrors and surrounded by a shallow pool of water. Tiny LED lights are suspended from the ceiling at different heights. Entering the Brilliance of Life feels like entering a galaxy of stars that constantly change colours.
After months spent often alone and online, the sheer physical experience of these installation feels exhilarating. And even the anti-selfie generation will find it hard to resist the appeal of being infinitely reflected in Kusama's enchanting world. As a mirror to our lockdown introspective endeavours, her work seems strangely timely.
|What||Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms, Tate Modern|
|Where||Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Southwark (underground)|
18 May 21 – 12 Jun 22, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|