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Mark your calendar for Yayoi Kusama or seek Unexpected Light with Young-Il Ahn

The art of Yayoi Kusama is coming to the Broad Museum in Los Angeles very soon. If you want to go see this exhibition, mark your calendar and take action this week!

Yayoi Kusama, The Souls of Million Light Years Away, 2013, the Broad, Los Angeles

I was recently chatting with my artist friend Virginie Mazureau about Kusama coming to the Broad, telling her I probably would not go. I have seen big Kusama retrospectives at Victoria Miro London two years ago and more recently I attended My Eternal Soul at Tokyo National Art Center. Both were amazing but I have a lot on my plate these days…
Yet if you have not experienced her work yourself, take action this Friday and make a plan to check it out for yourself.

Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins, 2016, Victoria Miro Gallery, London

To my surprise, tickets for the entire duration of the Broad exhibition (on from Oct 21, 2017 until January 1, 2018) will be on sale this Friday September 1st, 2017 at noon PT. Click this link and book your slot if you are planning to visit Los Angeles before the end of the year.

If you don’t manage to get tickets, I have written at length about Kusama and her Infinity Rooms and Infinity Nets in two blog posts that I invite you to check again by clicking the links. 

As mentioned before, “People flock to her exhibitions, kids play in her dotted pumpkins and everybody marvel at the magic of her infinity rooms. Yet, Kusama’ s underpinning story is extremely dark”.

Kusama’ s work is produced “as visual expression of the horrors and terrors assailing her and threatening to obliterate her being”.

She is “known to sometimes spend 40 to 50 hours straight, painting her madness as the only way to resist her annihilating visions…Her work is physical and hard, a way to stay alive against self-obliteration”.

Yayoi Kusama’ s Infinity Nets are an all-encompassing form of art.

Kusama fills her canvas with her repeating motifs which became a signature style. In 1950’s New York, many Abstract Expressionists were making a name for themselves, each with their own style: Barnett Newman with his zip paintings, Pollock with his drips, Rothko with his color fields and a bit later on Agnès Martin with her grids. Kusama made a mark with her infinity nets.

What about artists’ signature styles today? Well, LACMA is still showing the work of Korean artist Young-Il Ahn until October 1st.

Where Kusama uses fluid loops to create her nets, Young-Il Ahn paints small squares of thick and tight brushstrokes.

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The overall weaved effect is less of a net and more of a grid but very beautiful and calming compared to Kusama. Using small accents of bright colors, it’s as if light was fighting its way through the material of the canvas and the heavily applied paint. The exhibit is called Unexpected Light and is well worth seeing until October 1st, 2017.

Note: I have inserted one of my Kusama-style work in the pictures. Easy to spot which one it is ? 🙂 Let me know!


© 2017 Ingrid Westlake
All pictures by Ingrid Westlake, unless otherwise stated.

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