Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW
From Anne Shields:
Today I had the pleasure of experiencing the “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” show at the Hirschhorn Museum. And an “experience” is exactly what it is.
The “Infinity Mirrors” are rooms of mirrors created by 87-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Only two people can enter a room at the same time, and it is a destabilizing feeling to be surrounded by lights and mirrors that blink and twinkle and make you feel that you’re losing your balance.
Phillip Kennicott, the Washinigton Post’s art critic, criticized the Hirschhorn for not focusing on Kusama’s battle with mental illness. But the show, in a way, portrays what it must feel like to be untethered from reality.
I was particularly taken by her other art in the show, outside the “Infinity Mirrors.” There are many multimedia paintings that use pastels, and they are beautifully conceived and executed.
The exhibit also has 12 enormous and stunning acrylic paintings that are all hung together. And these were all produced recently. At age 87, Kusama is still painting huge (6′ by 6′) canvases from a wheelchair, aided by her staff who turn the canvases so she can cover them.
The show ends May 14. It has already had record-breaking crowds, leading to the Hirschorn’s extending the hours on Wednesdays until 8:30. Timed tickets to the show are available, and your patience with the lines will be rewarded by this “out of body” experience.
Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin is on view outside Hirshhorn through the course of the exhibition. Pumpkins are one of the artist’s most beloved motifs.