Friday, September 28, 2012

Last Friday Night

Eyes of Mine, 2010

Last Friday night my scheduled plans fell through, so I decided to stop by the Whitney after work to check out the Yayoi Kusama retrospective that I'd been hoping to visit all summer. When I strode up to the stacked block museum, the line to get in was already around the building (ugh), but thankfully I had brought my overconfidence and my SVA staff ID, both of which I flashed at the Membership desk. "Right this way, Ms. Cueto!" Ok, no one actually said that. I'm not Daddy Warbucks. But I did feel like a total VIP. Unfortunately, being ushered past the waiting plebs did not mean I'd get to see her mirrored twinkle-lit installation Fireflies on the Waterthose times tickets had sold out hours ago. But I did get to experience works of hers that I'd only seen in art books before. Her Infinity Net paintings were stunning up close and from far away, simple repeated strokes of white that undulated like a vast foamy sea. But it was the final room of her most recent paintings that really excited me and made me wish that photography was allowed. Especially Eyes from 2009, Secret Moments from 2010, and Eyes of Mine from 2010 (above, thanks Shamanism), all bright red on blue shapes that looked as if they were positively vibrating. Some things I learned about Kusama from the show: she and Joseph Cornell were lovers for 10 years (she was his first girlfriend when he was 60!), she also made beautiful, seamless collages, and she staged a nude happening in a MoMA fountain in 1969 that was covered in the Daily News with the headline, "But Is It Art?" 

Creepy coincidence: Yayoi was our Artist of the Week one year ago today!

- Cathleen 

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