Tag Archive | Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama Christmas Tree Ornament

Kusama Ornament
All Photos By Gail

How adorable is this tiny, painted wooden tree Ornament in the likeness of our favorite living artist, Yayoi Kusama? Answer: so darn cute!

Kusama Ornament

Here she is posing next to a book about Kusama, which I bet is really cool.

Kusama Ornament

You know what else you could do is thread her on a chord and wear her around your neck like a pendant. How fashionable! I may do that.

Yayoi (pronounced “Ya-Yo-E”) Kusama Ornament can be found in the MoMA Design Store and also perhaps Online.

Kusama Ornament

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Yayoi Kusama, Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, Helsinki, Finland

Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees
All Photos By Gail

We only had four hours off the ship to explore Helsinki, Finland, but despite the cold and rainy weather, luck was on our side; as the Universe guided us directly to the foot of Esplanadi Park, the site of Yayoi Kusama’s latest installation of Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees. Holy crap! We had no idea it would be there, but the impossible-to-miss red and white polka dot fabric-wrapped trees screamed This is a Kusama Thing! at us from across the road, and journied over to investigate. There are no accidents.

Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees
Wrapped Trees with Statue of Eino Leino, Finnish Poet, Bohemian and Journalist

A little bit of Googling gave us additional background on the installation, explaining how, “Part of Esplanadi Park has been utterly transformed. Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees establishes a wonderland in the park, where 20 trees in Theatre Esplanadi are wrapped in Kusama’s signature dotted fabric.” To run concurrently, Kusama’s Narcissus Garden, a well-known work consisting of a thousand mirror-surfaced steel spheres, has also been installed in the Palm Room at Helsinki’s Winter Garden. Kusama offers, “These works have been inspired by beautiful nature and people, and they create communication between nature and living beings. The shining city of Helsinki, as well as the life we wish for, becomes even more beautiful.”

While we found it on Thursday, June 9th, the work was officially unveiled on Helsinki Day, June 12th. It will be on display for all to enjoy until October 9th, 2016. Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees has previously been on show in London, Singapore, Moscow and elsewhere.

Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees

Lyons Wier Gallery Presents: Jae Yong Kim’s Pop Goes The Donut!

Donut Ever Forget Me
Donut Ever Forget Me ByJae Yong Kim (All Photos By Gail)

If you like Donuts and Art, then you will go crazy for Korean artist Jae Yong Kim’s latest exhibit, Pop Goes The Donut, which is up now at Lyons Wier Gallery.

Donut Ever Forget Me Detail 2
Donut Ever Forget Me, Detail

To say that these surreal, fantasy Donut sculptures look good enough to eat is a understatement. But while these donuts are glazed, they are in fact made of glazed ceramic, so resist he urge to bite into one, as it would be hard on the teeth!

Donut Ever Forget Me
Donut Ever Forget Me, Detail

And just look how Instagram-ready they are!

Installation View

Aside from inspiring you to immediately hit up a Krispy Kreme, you’ll love how Kim incorporates the most recognizable motifs of favorite Pop artists like Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and Jeff Koons into his various Donut-themed series.

Duet of Donut Soup
Duet of Donut Soup

Kim has a field day riffing on Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans, which he recreates here as Donut Soup. Yummy.

Le Petit Donut Soup
Le Petit Donut Soup

These ones look like Jelly Donuts to me.

Le Petit Donut Soup (Detail)
Le Petit Donut Soup (Detail)

Donut Soup Dozen
Donut Soup Dozen

Pumpkin Spice Donut
Pumpkin Spice Donut

With Pumpkin Spice Donut, Kim references Kusama’s yellow and black spotted Pumpkins.

Donut You Love My Teddy Bear Series
Donut You Love My Teddy Bear (Series)

The colorful, mirrored-surface of the Teddy Bear-Head Shaped Donuts made me immediately think of Jeff KoonsBalloon Dog on a Plate.

Donut You Love My Teddy Bear Series (Pink)
Donut You Love My Teddy Bear Series (Pink)

Buy Sell Hold the Donuts
Buy, Sell, Hold – the Donuts!

Here’s a Donut Grouping that pays homage to the Stock Market! Fun!

Make sure you stop by Lyons Wier to snap some selfies with these donuts before the exhibit closes in just under 2 week!

Jae Yong Kim’s Pop Goes The Donut will be on Exhibit Through May 14th, 2016, at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located at 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Signage

A Visit to The Broad Museum!

Broad Museum Exterior
All Photos by Gail

When I was in California at Christmastime, a little bit of advanced planning allowed me to enjoy a visit to the new Broad Museum of contemporary art, located in beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Featuring 2,000 works of art from the private collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad (pronounced like Bro-d”), admission is free of charge, but because the museum just opened on September 20th, 2015, the demand for tickets is so high that they must be reserved online in advance. By December, the list was already booked up through February 2016! It is times like these that writing an awesome blog like The Worley Gig comes in handy. With a  couple of exchanged emails, the Broad’s press office was kind enough to extend VIP-treatment to myself and two guests, which included front-of-the-line cutting privileges that saved us about two hours of waiting in a queue that already wrapped around two sides of the building by the time the museum opened at 11 AM.  It is good to be the King, or Queen, whatever.

Urs Fischer Untitled 2012
Urs Fischer, Untitled (2012), Melting Lamp Post, Located in the Ground Floor Lobby

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, and featuring an innovative Veil-and-Vault concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection, and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library. Needless to say, but you can see I am about to, the building itself is a work of art.

Please enjoy some photos and tips from our visit!

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Room
Here I am with my Sister inside Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room

The first thing you are going to want to do when you get into the museum is veer off to the left (when you see the Urs Fisher sculpture above, you are in the right place), look for a museum docent with an iPad, and put your name on a list for timed entry to the Infinity Mirrored Room by Yayoi Kusama. We put our names in within 15 minutes of the museum’s opening, and the wait time for entry was already 75 minutes! Usually, only one or two people are allowed inside the installation at one time, and they only let you stay in there for a rigidly-timed 45 to 60 seconds! Because we were a group of 3, they let us all go in at the same time. When your entry time approaches, they will text you so that you can make it back down to the lobby from wherever you are in the museum, to wait about 15 minutes for entry, which is convenient. Read more about the Infinity Mirrored Room and its associated guidelines, at This Link!

Tulips By Jeff Koons 1995-2004
Tulips By Jeff Koons 1995-2004

Art is displayed on the first (ground) and third floors of the building, with the second floor reserved for storage (more about that later). We took the escalator to the third floor right away and were greeted by Jeff Koons famous mirrored steel Tulips sculpture. So gorgeous! The Broads must be huge fans of Koons, because there is an entire gallery dedicated to just to his work. The Broad has the largest collection of Koons work in one place that I’ve seen since his retrospective at The Whitney back in 2014; which was just insane.

Koons Gallery
Jeff Koons Gallery

Blue Balloon Dog with Wall Detail
Blue Balloon Dog with Wall Detail

This photo of a Koons Balloon Dog showcases the building’s porous, honeycomb-like exterior (made of fiberglass and reinforced concrete) which lets natural light flow into the  galleries, and the glass curtain wall behind it, which protects the interior from the elements. Genius.

Roy Lichtenstein Interior with African Mask 1991
Roy Lichtenstein, Interior with African Mask (1991)

If you dig Roy Lichtenstein, there are perhaps a dozen paintings and sculptures by the legendary Pop artist.

I made a video of Barbara Kruger’s lenticular photograph, Have Me, Feed Me, Hug Me, Love Me, Need Me (1988)!

Robert Therrien, Under the Table 1994
Robert Therrien, Under the Table (1994)

This piece is lots of fun.

Elevator And Stairs/Escalator

A futuristic, cylindrical glass elevator will transport you quickly between the first and the third floors, but if you want to check out the second floor, you will have to take the stairs.

Broad Storage Floor Window

On the second floor landing there are these oval windows set into the stairwell wall, through which you can peer in and see where they store all of the spare artwork. This part of the museum (which is the concrete “Core” of the building) is called The Vault, and it is pretty cool. The Vault is also where laboratories, curatorial spaces and offices are located.

Broad Storage Floor Window
Inside The Vault

White Riot Robert Longo 1982
White Riot By Robert Longo (1982)

Desire 1969 Ed Ruscha
Desire By Ed Ruscha (1969)

Robert Rauschenberg Untitled 1963
Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (1963)

Can you imagine having all of these fantastic artworks — and hundreds more — in your private collection? Unreal. There is a 15-minute introductory film (located adjacent to the Infinity Mirrored Room) that you can watch, which tells you where the Broads got all of their money, in case you’re interested.

Takashi Murakami
Works By Takashi Murakami

The Broads also love to collect the works of superflat artist Takashi Murakami. As with Koons and Lichtenstein, there are enough Murkakamis here to stage a career retrospective.

Robert Therrien No Title 1993
Robert Therrien, No Title (1993)

Also in the lobby space, very close to the entrance, you’ll find another larger-than-life sculpture created by reclusive, LA-based artist Robert Therrien, this time of a stack of saucers. His work is fascinating.

I am not sure how long the inaugural exhibition will be up, and with thousands of artworks to choose from, it would make sense for the museum to change it up fairly often, so be sure to visit The Broad’s Website before you visit. The Broad’s first special exhibition will debut in June 2016, with a comprehensive survey of the work of artist Cindy Sherman. Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life will be the first major museum show of Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and the exhibition will fill The Broad’s first-floor galleries with close to 120 works drawn primarily from the Broad collection.

Find out more about The Broad Museum, and plan your visit by reserving your free tickets, at The Broad Dot Org!

Broad Signage

Lucas Samaras, Doorway

Lucas Samaras Doorway Full
All Photos By Gail

While Lucas Samaras’s Doorway is billed as a “Mirrored Room,” it isn’t actually a room that you can enter, as you can, say, a Mirrored Room installation by Yayoi Kusama. It is really more of, well, a Doorway: a Mirrored Cube inside of a Mirrored Shell that is open on the front and back ends, to allow view through. When I viewed this work at Pace Gallery on the final day of its exhibition, the open ends were roped off to prevent anyone from touching, walking on or accessing the work close up. Bummer.

Lucas Samaras Doorway 1

In this shot you can see the outline of the cube clearly. Unfortunately, if there is even one other person in the gallery they are going be in the shot.

Lucas Samaras Doorway Detail

This a reflection of the cube against the interior of the passageway. You can imagine that if you were able to get inside there you could snap some pretty crazy selfies.  But, sadly no.

Lucas Samaras Doorway Full

Doorway is one of a series of Mirrorred Rooms created by Samaras between 1966 and 2007.

Photographed At Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Yayoi Kusama’s Give Me Love at David Zwirner

Obliteration Room
Obliteration Room By Yayoi Kusama (All Photos By Gail)

David Zwirner’s 19th Street space is currently hosting Give Me Love, the New York gallery’s second exhibition with our favorite living artist, 86-year-old Yayoi Kusama. On view are new paintings from the celebrated My Eternal Soul series, new polka-dotted pumpkin sculptures, and the artist’s seminal installation The Obliteration Room from 2002. Whether you are a long-time Kusama fan, or even if you are new to her work, Give Me Love is a Must See Exhibit!

Kusama Fan

Yayoi Kusama Fan at Opening Reception!

Kusama Painting

In this show, Kusama continues her recent series of large-format, square My Eternal Soul paintings with a group of canvases conveying extraordinary vitality and passion.

Kusama Painting

With titles such as Fear of Youth Overwhelmed by the Spring Time of Life, I Who Have Taken an Antidepressant, and My Longing, the Unseen Land of Death, the compositions acquire an autobiographic, even confessional dimension.

Kusama Painting

Kusama Painting

The bold brushstrokes and swirly shapes seem to hover between figuration and abstraction; vibrant, animated, and intense, they transcend their medium to introduce their own pictorial logic, at once contemporary and universal.

Pink Eyes

Pink Eyes Detail
Detail from Painting, Above

As such, while they continue Kusama’s innovative exploration of form, subject matter, and space, they also represent a connection to her work from the past six decades.

Kusama Painting

Pumpkin Room

The sculptures on view include new stainless steel pumpkins featuring either painted or perforated dots. Their exaggerated sizes — the tallest being approximately 70 inches (178 cm) high — seem measured after human proportions, and their mirrored surfaces are thus able to contain viewers’ full body reflections.

Me in the Pumpkin

Red Pumpkin

Yellow Pumpkin

While pumpkins have appeared in Kusama’s work since her early art studies in Japan in the 1950s, they gained increasing prominence from the late 1980s onwards. The juxtaposition between the lush organic shape and its shiny, steel materiality here creates a psychedelic impression, but ultimately the bulbous forms emerge as celebratory and animated, absorbing viewers and their surroundings in their own image.

Obliteration Room Line
In Line to Enter the Obliteration Room

Obliteration Room Exterior
Obliteration Room, Exterior

This very whimsical exhibition also marks the United States debut of The Obliteration Room, an all-white, domestic interior that over the course of the show is covered by dots of varying sizes and colors.

Obliteration Room

Obliteration Room

In a departure from earlier iterations of the work, which have involved one or several rooms, the present installation is built like a typical, prefabricated American suburban house.

Obliteration Room

As visitors are handed a set of stickers and step inside, they enter a completely white residential setting where otherwise familiar objects such as a kitchen counter, couch, and bookshelves are all painted the same shade.

Obliteration Room

Gradually transforming the space as a result of the interaction, the accumulation of the bright dots ultimately changes the interior until it is eradicated into a blur of colors. A sense of depth and volume disappears as individual pieces of furniture, floors, and walls blend together.

Obliteration Room

Obliteration Room

Consider that these photos were taken less than two hours after the exhibit opened to he public. Now imagine how it looks right now, or will look at the exhibit’s close on June 13th? Pretty crazy!

Obliteration Room

Give Me Love by Yayoi Kusama will be on Exhibit Through June 13th, 2015 at David Zwirner, Located at 519 & 525 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Give Me Love Signage

Kusama Painting

Kusama Painting

Pop Sculpture / Pop Culture at Leila Heller Gallery, Ends November 15th!

Robert Indian Art
Art By Robert Indiana (All Photos By Gail)

Leila Heller’s multi-floor midtown gallery is wrapping up its Pop Sculpture / Pop Culture exhibit on Saturday, but we had one last chance to check it out this week, when WhiteWall Magazine sponsored a fun party encompassing the three floors on which the exhibit is installed. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne made sure that the open bar was stocked with its delicious Brut Rose, and every body had a great time!

Pop Sculptures Signage

Pop Sculpture / Pop Culture is an exhibition of select three-dimensional works from leaders of the Pop Art sculpture movement, on view since September 18th and closing November 15th at Heller’s 43 West 57th Street location.

YAYOI KUSAMA Narcissus Garden , 2004
Yayoi Kusama, Narcissus Garden

The exhibition presents a wildly impressive selection of iconic sculptures by the most prominent Pop sculptors from the 1960s to the contemporary artists whom they have influenced.

Here are few of our favorite pieces from the show!

ANDY WARHOL Campbell’s Soup Can (Chicken with Rice)
Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Can (Chicken with Rice)

Robert Indiana AMOR
Robert Indiana, AMOR

Keith Haring Untitled (Two Dancing Figures) ,
Keith Haring, Untitled (Two Dancing Figures)

JEFF KOONS New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polisher
Jeff Koons, New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polisher

CLAES OLDENBURG Ice Cream Display
Claes Oldenburg, Ice Cream Display

ROY LICHTENSTEIN Brushstroke Chair & Ottoman
Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke Chair & Ottoman

TIM NOBLE & SUE WEBSTER Excessive Sensual Indulgence
Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Excessive Sensual Indulgence

SHELTER SERRA Nine Fake Guns, 2014
Shelter Serra, Nine Fake Guns

Bertozi & Casoni Cover
Bertozi & Casoni Cover

The above is a glazed ceramic replica (and embellishment) of Warhol’s iconic Brillo Box. Clever!

RACHEL LEE HOVNANIAN Body Armor
Keith Haring, TV Head; Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Body Armor

PARVIZ TANAVOLI Heech
Parviz Tanavoli, Heech

If you don’t already have plans for Saturday the 15th of November, maybe the Leila Heller Gallery at 43 West 57th street (between 5th and 6th Avenues) is the place to be?