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David Zwirner presents with 'Give Me Love' the second solo exhibition of the world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama in New York. Presented in the two galleries on 519 and 525 West 19th Street are new photos from the 'My Eternal Soul' spread, new polka-dotted pumpkin sculptures – but also the legendary installation titled 'The Obliteration Room' from 2002, a furnished, completely white room which visitors can actively transform into a unique piece of art with adhesive dots. And Veronique Ansorge, Director of Gallery David Zwirner New York, took us on a trip through it. Veronique was just recently proclaimed 'one of Art World’s Most Stylish Doyennes' by Barry Samara. Enjoy the show!
The press release of the Zwirner gallery tells us: "Widely recognized around the world, with a recent survey of museum attendance ranking her as the most popular artist in 2014, Kusama has shaped her own narrative of postwar and contemporary art. Minimalism and Pop art, abstraction and conceptualism coincide in her practice, which spans painting, sculpture, performance, room-sized and outdoor installations, the written word, films, fashion, design, and architectural interventions.
Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama briefly studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York City in the late 1950s. She began her large-scale Infinity Net paintings during this decade, and went on to apply their obsessive, hallucinatory qualities to her three-dimensional work. Her iconic polka dots, organic shapes, and optical environments display an unparalleled vitality that becomes hypnotic and self-referential, merging concepts of flatness and depth, presence and absence, and beauty and the sublime. In a unique style that is both sensory and utopian, Kusama’s work possesses a highly personal character, yet one that has connected profoundly with large audiences around the globe, as throughout her career she has been able to break down traditional barriers between work, artist, and spectator.
Kusama continues her recent series of large-format, square My Eternal Soul paintings with a group of canvases conveying extraordinary vitality and passion. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
The exhibition 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. 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. 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. 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.
Kusama has noted that she began to see her surroundings through a screen of dots early in her life, and she later came to refer to the process as obliteration—the gradual removal of any trace of something. Several happenings from the 1960s and onwards were called Self-Obliteration and involved the artist covering herself and others with dots. Their all-enveloping presence in The Obliteration Room also recalls the artist’s infinity rooms, in which thousands of small lights flicker against mirrored walls—an example of these was presented during Kusama’s first exhibition with the gallery in 2013.
Immersed in her studio six days a week, Kusama has spoken of her renewed dedication to creating art over the past years: “[N]ew ideas come welling up every day….Now I am more keenly aware of the time that remains and more in awe of the vast scope of art….I believe that the creative urge in art is born of quiet, solitary contemplation and takes flight from the silence of the soul’s repose in the form of rainbows of shimmering light….I feel how truly wonderful life is, and I tremble with undying fascination for the world of art, the only place that gives me hope and makes life worthwhile.”
Yayoi Kusama joined David Zwirner in early 2013, and had her inaugural exhibition with the gallery in New York that same year. Immediately following its opening, Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived In Heaven received widespread critical acclaim and international media coverage, quickly becoming David Zwirner’s most well-attended show. Attracting thousands of visitors a day, the exhibition was deemed a social media sensation and hailed by The New York Times as encouraging “the ultimate selfie.” Published on its occasion was a fully illustrated catalogue, which includes new scholarship on the artist’s work by art critic and poet Akira Tatehata and an original poem written by Kusama herself.
Since her first solo show in her native Japan in 1952, Kusama has exhibited widely in international solo and group presentations. The artist’s work was the subject of a large-scale, well-received retrospective that traveled from 2011 to 2012 to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Yayoi Kusama: Eternity of Eternal Eternity recently concluded its extensive tour to prominent institutions in Japan, which began in January 2012 and continued until October 2014. Museums included The National Museum of Art, Osaka; The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; Matsumoto City Museum of Art; Niigata City Art Museum; Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art; Oita Art Museum; The Museum of Art, Kochi; Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto; Akita Senshu Museum of Art; and the Matsuzakaya Museum, Nagoya.
Traveling through Asia, Yayoi Kusama: A Dream I Dreamed encompasses over one hundred recent works and was first displayed at the Daegu Art Museum in Korea, followed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai and the Seoul Arts Center. It travels to two institutions in Taiwan—currently on view at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (through May 17, 2015) and then to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (June 6 – August 30, 2015)—as well as to India at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (opening November 2015).
Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Obsession has been seen by more than two million people along its tour through Central and South America. Consisting of over one hundred works created between 1950 and 2013, it opened in June 2013 at Malba – Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires and traveled to the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro; Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília; Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo; and the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. The show is currently on view at the Fundación CorpArtes, Santiago (through June 7, 2015).
In the fall of 2015, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark will present a comprehensive overview of Kusama’s practice, including works that span the full length of her career, that will travel to other major Scandinavian institutions.
Work by the artist is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; amongst numerous others. Kusama lives and works in Tokyo.
Book to buy : Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, trans. by Ralph McCarthy (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press and Tate Publishing, 2011)
Yayoi Kusama Give Me Love . May 9 - June 13, 2015 . Zwirner, 519 & 525 West 19th Street . Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM . Free and open to the public
01.06.2015 // show complete article
"No. 5 in a New Light"—Chanel is publically celebrating its 94-year old fragrance, bringing it to new life so it can endure the changing times. Even if the flacon design is celebrated in the Museum of Modern Art – it's an open secret, that self-aggrandizement is the best stylistic means of keeping the brand in customer's minds and the sales figures up. Gabrielle Chanel knew that; Karl Lagerfeld knows it, ... and so does CHANEL Master Parfumeur Jacques Polge, who has brought Eau Première, a lighter version of the perfume classic, onto the market. And, of course, the event has been meticulously planned down to the very last detail – visitors are guided through five stations, each of them realized with confident style and accompanied by excellently instructed, charming young male models. Because if Coco Chanel was already the opinion that, 'A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future' – then no one should ever forget the seductive point of the exercise – cherchez l'homme! We filmed the young charming men for you. Showtime! on GoSee.
We present you the press release on the event: N°5 Exhibit Opens in Manhattan - CHANEL opened on 7 May 2015 an eleven-day public exhibit entitled “N°5 in a New Light,” which celebrates the iconic N°5 fragrance every day from 12pm to 8pm through Sunday, May 17.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was already known for her fashion innovation when she turned to the creation of her first fragrance, which she regarded as an integral part of a woman’s style. Like all Chanel creations, N°5 was inspired by the modern spirit of the woman herself. The fashion of the day was for heavy florals, but she wanted “a woman’s perfume with the scent of a woman.” CHANEL Perfumer Ernest Beaux presented her with several numbered samples. She chose the fifth – and so, a legend was born.
Located on the corner of Tenth Avenue and 14th Street in the epicenter of Manhattan art gallery culture, the “N°5 in a New Light” exhibit will encourage visitors to let their senses guide them through the creation, cultivation, composition, abstraction, and revelation of the world’s first modern fragrance during their journey of the space.
CREATION - When Chanel created N°5 with Beaux in 1921, she launched a revolution in a bottle. The most potent symbol of the luxurious, feminine simplicity for which Chanel is renowned, N°5 rewrote the rulebook for perfume and changed the way fragrance was made forever. Packaged with characteristically daring simplicity in a bottle Gabrielle created herself, its modernity was shocking. More than 90 years later, the fragrance still holds the power to astonish and seduce.
CULTIVATION - Beaux chose flowers from Grasse, France for N°5. This legendary town is known as the birthplace of perfumery, with its fields of uniquely scented flowers. To protect and maintain the rare heritage and tradition of these precious ingredients in the fragrance, Chanel established the first partnership of its kind with the largest flower producer in Grasse.
COMPOSITION - The language of fragrance is directly referential to the language of music. The ingredients are referred to as ‘notes.’ A fragrance presents itself in three tiers, classified as top notes, middle notes and base notes, depending on how they are played in the expression of the scent. The accord refers to the harmony of the scent. N°5 is composed of many notes, and with no single dominant note in the fragrance, it is interpreted differently depending on the wearer.
ABSTRACTION - Ernest Beaux said that he found the olfactory inspiration for N°5 on a summer expedition to the North Pole: “With the midnight sun, the lakes and rivers give off an extraordinarily fresh fragrance.”
His imaginary bouquet blends together sensual top notes, then gives way to a floral heart, followed by the rich, fragrant base notes. For the first time in perfume, aldehydes were used. These synthetically produced compounds give the composition a new dimension and enhance the heady floral note, adding layers of complexity, making the fragrance ever more mysterious and impossible to decipher.
REVELATION - CHANEL Master Perfumer Jacques Polge created EAU PREMIÈRE, the modern interpretation of N°5, with an evanescent lightness. The Ylang-Ylang is more discreet, giving softness and transparency to the top notes. The opulence of Jasmine from Grasse is more sheer, revealing the soft and delicate facet of N°5.
"No. 5 in a New Light"; open 12PM to 8PM from May 7 through May 17; 461 W. 14th Street, NYC, New York
13.05.2015 // show complete article
A tête-à-tête with Karl Lagerfeld? That's not even likely to happen in Hyères. Neither will you get a career as a fashion designer on a silver platter; not to mention one as an international shooting star photographer after receiving an award. So what's the secret behind Villa Noailles, the very French Festival of Fashion and Photography? Why has the festival in southern France existed for 30 years now? "It wasn't that easy to organize the festival every year," founder Jean-Pierre Blanc, who was notably moved to tears, stated clearly at the press conference held at the opening of the festival. In 2015, and its 30th year, his dreams seem to have come true. The House of Chanel represented by Creative Studio Director Virginie Viard, Image Director Eric Pfrunder and Karl Lagerfeld has brought the event in 2015 worldwide attention and stood side by side with equally famous jury colleagues including Caroline von Monacco or Sebastien Tellier (see GoSee article) next to Jean-Pierre Blanc.
From the 23rd through the 27th of April, the star-studded 30th Festival International de Mode et de Photographie took place at the Villa Noailles, in southern France's city of Hyères. Each year, the festival awards young fashion designers and photographers and gives the winners several prizes with the support of its partners. Besides Karl Lagerfeld as the Art Director, the festival gladly welcomed Virginie Viard, Directrice des Studio de Création at CHANEL, as the President of the fashion jury. At her side, you'll find the President of the photography jury, Eric Pfrunder, who is Directeur de l’Image at CHANEL.
Now back to the secret – and getting to the bottom of it. At GoSee, we have been wondering and have our own speculations. Is it the charm of southern France, which inevitably leads to a more relaxed atmosphere? Or is it that Paris, with all its closely abided by conventions seems so far away? Is Hyères so well hidden that the pressure of not having enough time cannot find it? Or does the optimism of the young designers and photographers automatically infect the festivals visitors? Whatever it is: Hyères is just like a perfect collection – the magical ingredients of the recipe are what determine the enchanting flavor: a legendary location, a professional team, motivated young talents, curious visitors... year after year, the event gives us the opportunity to get inspired. And even though France is very aware of how important its fashion industry is – in 2015, Ministre de la Culture Mme Fleur Pellerin announced that her ministry would secure the festival financially for the next three years – money is definitely not the secret of Villa Noailles; au contraire, there is a mysterious spirit of solidarity in the air which its like-minded visitors can feel. We have several pictures and original statements for you.
30.04.2015 // show complete article