KUSAMA EXHIBITION

On Saturday 16/4/2016 we visited the Henie Onstad Art Center‘s exhibition featuring the work of the 87 year old Japanese artist and and writer Yayoi Kusama.

 

Kusama is a pioneer in the world of avant-garde and in 2015 was rated as one of the top ten living artists in the world. On several
occasions she has broken records for the highest price paid for the work of a female artist.

In 1973 she checked herself in as a mentally ill patient at the Seiwa Hospital in Tokyo and has been living their ever since. She produces new works from her studio which is just a short distance away from the hospital.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour around the exhibition – it was colourful, inspirational, and tickled all the senses. You leave knowing that you have been close to a very unique woman who was at the very heart of conceptual art with roots in minimalism, surrealism and pop art. She appears to have been incredibly prolific and was a great influence to people like Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Such a shame she has to battle with her demons when she is so
incredibly talented. Like everyone else who visited, we will not forget her.

 

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You can be forgiven for thinking this is the artist in person – almost scary the amazing detail in her lifesize replica!

 

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Giant canvases.

 

 

 

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One, two, three jump and take the shot. Kusama liked to cover
herself in polka dots and become part of the canvas and we thought that was a good idea so this is Aurora’s tribute.

 

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Does this make you think of Munch’s – The Scream?  There were a few visitors having a laugh as we took this shot but it turned out pretty well I think.

 

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Wonder what these two art lovers are making of this exhibit 🙂

 

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Colour everywhere!

 

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Infinity Mirror rooms; which typically involve a cube shaped room being clad with mirrors, water on the floor and flickering lights. This glass cube from her mirror series was just over 2 meters high and I guess around 175 m broad with two peek holes in each side. It was great fun, and everyone that managed to  get their face in front of the holes appeared many times over in the final photo.

 

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Every phallic shape was hand sewn by the artist and fixed onto the exhibits.

 

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Me behind the lens this time, and Aurora, no surprise was very
appropriately dressed for the shot – fun photo, and I think Kusama
would approve.

 

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Another of Kusama’s themes – the giant gourd!

 

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Polka dots – Kusama’s signature that brings out the child in you. There were many younger visitors who were obviously loving the bright colours in every room.

 

The last room before the exit. It was a pure white space at the
opening but everyone gets their own polka dot to place at will… and
just look at the result so far!

 

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Playing a Polka on a polka dot piano!

 

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Encased behind glass in all her polka dot glory a brilliant cast of
Kasuma – so lifelike you wouldn’t have blinked if she’d suddenly walked out.

 

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We loved this world class art exhibition that
just made you want to jump for joy!

Henie Onstad Art Center

Sonja Henie was a gifted Norwegian figure skater who won Gold in three Olympics. She also won ten World Championships and six
European Championships in a row. (1927-1936 and 1931-1936). At the height of her career she also become one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She and her third husband Niels Onstad a shipping magnate shared a love of art and their collection helped fund the Henie Onstad Art Center.

The Center lies close to Sandvika on the outskirts of Oslo and opened in 1968. It blends beautifully into the woody hillside above the fjord and apart from visits to the exhibitions, it is also a popular area for both jogging and walking.

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