Yayoi Kusama Retrospective at Gropius Bau

Berlin is alive and doing fine! And it blooms with great art events. Presented across almost 3000 m² of Gropius Bau‘s historic space, Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective offers an overview of the key periods in Kusama’s oeuvre, which spans more than 70 years, and feature a number of current works as well as a newly realised Infinity Mirror Room.  The retrospective focuses primarily on tracing the development of Kusama’s creative output from her early paintings and accumulative sculptures to her immersive environments, as well exploring her lesser-known artistic activity in Germany and Europe. Since the 1960s, the artist has been actively engaged in realising exhibition projects outside the former centre of her life in New York and showing her work in a European context. This has also brought to the fore Kusama’s role as a pioneer of personal branding, who early on in her practice intentionally staged and marketed her own artistic persona and multidisciplinary work. Within the exhibition framework, reconstructions allow viewers to experience the pioneering nature of her presentational forms and artistic subjects, making accessible Kusama’s early exhibition projects in Germany and Europe in the 1960s and central solo exhibitions in the USA and Asia from the 1950s to 1980s. It seems that everybody knows Yayoi’s art, but there’s just so much more to her work than the signature, XXL polka-dots.

Till the 15th of August 2021 / Gropius Bau / Niederkirchnerstraße 7

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Day 6: Madison Avenue, Second Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Midown

Today I was in the Whitney Museum for the Kusama Exhibition on Madison Avenue. And that was a real disappointment. Well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots and nets, as well as her intense, large scale environments, Yayoi Kusama works in a variety of media including paintings, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. Kusama came to USA in 1957 and quickly found herself in New York epicenter of avant garde. After achieving fame thanks to art “happenings” she returned to Japan. Now she is one of the most loudest and known Japanese Contemporary artist and this retrospective in the Whitney features her works. However I didn’t liked the exhibition. The paintings were too… Ugly and normal. But the only thing I loved was the art piece with dark/yellow polka dots! And I will not write about rest of the museum because that was a hopeless. But the Frederic Malle perfumes and Rag and Bone shops were gorgeous! I also ate some ice creams in Eli Zabar Bakery (Madison Avenue).

20120809-053816 PM.jpg
Yayoi Kusama and this what was in the Whitney

20120809-053905 PM.jpg
Frederic Malle boutique, Rag and Bone, Pork Buns at Momofuku Ssam and Duck Dumplings
The next thing was a lunch at Momofuku Ssam Bar, whose chef is David Chang. We tried the iconic pork bun (a fluffy pancake with steamed pork and pickles inside). The dish was for me quite good, however it is really hard for stomach. The next dishes- were poor. But I bought, the Lucky Peach Magazine, that can be bought only in Momofuku. Because there was NO coffee in restaurant we went to Momofuku MILK Bar, that was on thesame street. I tried the first time in my life ice creams made out of… milk! They were great! We caught a taxi and drove to Bergdof Goodman on fifth avenue. We tried out some perfumes and I did lots of photos of some really fancy shoes! (I m gonna send them back at home!). To go back to he hotel, we chose a route through Central Park- in reality we didn’t see any green trees for few days! After some rest, we went for the dinner to Nobu- an Japanese restaurant. The food was really good- Wagyu beef, shrimp tempura, nigiri and tuna sushi rolls- but it was so annoyingly noisy there… But the most important was this that the fish was really fresh! As always, that was a great day day in NYC!!!

20120809-090714 PM.jpg