Missing Kusama: Yayoi Kusama at the High Museum in Atlanta, traveling on…

We’re in the Infinity Room at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the High Museum last December – suspended in the cosmos while the “stars” above and below seem to go on forever. In reality, the little walkway we’re standing on is the center of a tiny room. But like the Tardis, or Snoopy’s doghouse, or Harry Potter’s tent, it seems much bigger inside than outside.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room November 2018 - High Museum Atlanta

Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. Yayoi Kusama – High Museum Atlanta GA

Outside Infinity - Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room at the High Museum Atlanta

What’s outside Infinity? — the gate-keeper.  Only three can go in at one time… and for less than a minute, but we’ve happily stood in a long queue to get this far.

Infinity Room Door - red dots

Another door to infinity, this time with Kusama’s signature soft sculpture forms with obliterating red dots. Peeking in the door at changeover time is almost as interesting as going inside…

That was December. The Kusama show closed February 17, a week ago yesterday. I’d bought tickets early on for November and December dates, not realizing how much I’d want to go again or how soon it would sell out. Then I saw the film Kusama: Infinity, and when the museum did a surprise opening up of ticket sales on the last week, of course I went online to get one. Problem:  I was number 29,593 (-ish) in queue.  I didn’t get a ticket.

So, today I’ll revisit my photos (and wish I’d taken more).

Island in the Sea # 1 - Yayoi Kusama, 1953 - gouache and painted pastel on paper

This small early piece was one of my favorites — Island in the Sea # 1 – Yayoi Kusama, 1953 – gouache and painted pastel on paper. 

Yayoi Kusama 1955 quote - High Museum Atlanta, exhibition 2018-2019

Kusama came to the U.S. and moved to New York. Her soft sewn sculptural work inspired Claes Oldenburg to start his series, her early infinity spaces inspired Lucas Samaras’ successful mirrored rooms, and an exhibition in which she papered the gallery with copies of the same image over and over led Andy Warhol to the idea. But Kusama’s career did not take off like theirs, and she went back to Japan in 1974.

High Museum Exhibition 2018-2019

My Eternal Soul” – recent work – High Museum Exhibition 2018-2019

Yayoi Kusama - as an artist...

Kusama has said the main theme of her art is obsession, that her work is based on “developing her personal psychological problems into art.” When she returned to Japan in the 1970s, she found a mental hospital offering art therapy and checked herself in. She’s almost 90 now, still living in the hospital, going out every day to work in her studio nearby.

One of the many ways Kusama was ahead of her time is how her work expands to encompass us all. It seems made for today’s obsession: social media.  In this show, everyone got into the selfie spirit, even me.

Infinity box at the High Museum exhibition 2018-2019

This was a box to peek into, not to step into.

 

Forget “exit through the gift shop” — viewers got a chance to participate in the theme of obliteration when leaving the exhibition through (of course) the Obliteration Room. Given a set of six multi-colored multi-sized adhesive dots, we each chose where to place our own dot allotment in a room that started out all white.

Kusama Obliteration Room - High Museum Atlanta - November 2018

Kusama Obliteration Room – the first week of the exhibition. High Museum, Atlanta GA

Kusama Obliteration Room - High Museum exhibition 2018-2019, Atlanta GA

Here’s the room a month later…

Kusama Obliteration Room - High Museum exhibition 2018-2019, Atlanta GA

.. by this time it was getting hard to find a place that didn’t already have a dot. 

The exhibition has moved on now. Installation for the next one must have begun – here’s what we saw when walking past the museum a few days ago —

High Museum Atlanta GA - banner for Phillips Collection

Putting up the banner for European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection, opening April 6.

 

Now, late again for Cee’s Foto Challenge – CFFC: Color of Your Choice — what color shall I choose? I’m going with “Dot” – can you blame me?

Film, Kusama Infinity – trailer

High Museum exhibitions:

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Art from the Phillips Collection

Atlanta Pride Parade 2018 (Catch-up CFFC “Rainbow Colors”)

It’s hard to get more colorful than the Atlanta (LGBTQ) Pride parade, with its giant rainbow flag. In 2015 we watched the parade coming up Peachtree Street from an upstairs window on the front of the building. Here’s the flag approaching — Atlanta Pride Parade 2015

We missed the next 2 years’ parades while traveling, but were in town for the last fall’s parade. This time I went down to street level — here comes the October 2018 parade.Atlanta Pride parade 2018Atlanta Pride Parade - rainbow flag 2018A little recent history (thanks to Wikipedia) In June 2015, The MoMA – the Museum of Modern Art in New York – acquired the rainbow flag symbol as part of its design collection. Later that month, the White House used rainbow flag colors for illumination to commemorate same-sex marriage legalization in all 50 U.S. states.Atlanta Pride Parade - rainbow flag approaching 2Atlanta Pride Parade - rainbow flag passing 2018

 

Pride parade 2018 - waiting to start

Rainbow colors were everywhere…

 I’m not usually a fan of crowds and noise, but energy and solidarity and goodwill were running high, and it was a joy to be there. Of course it didn’t hurt that they were serving rainbow-iced cupcakes downstairs in the lobby. 

Atlanta Pride Parade Dog 2018

… even pets came to show their support.

I have to admit that after years of seeing rainbow flags, it was just a few months ago — at the Rainbow Crosswalk at 10th and Piedmont no less — that I stared at the pavement and suddenly realized, “There are 7 colors in a rainbow but only 6 colors here! Why?” (if you’re curious, Wikipedia can help with that too)

When I was a child there was a song called “I Love a Parade” my grandmother and her friends used to refer to. Now that I live on a parade-street, I’m beginning to see what they were talking about.

Do you love a parade?

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow Colors

Atlanta Pride: History

Rainbow Colors: Symbolism