Yayoi Kusama "Infinite Mirrors" SAM: Seattle Art Museum // June 3- September 10, 2017

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is a celebration of the legendary Japanese artist’s 65-year career and promised to be one of 2017's essential interactive art experiences. Seattle visitors lined up around the entire Museum block, to attend the most thrilling exhibit in the PNW this year. People did not hesitate to wait in line for two hours to experience twenty seconds in each of the six mesmerizing Infinity mirror rooms.  A selection of her other key works never shown in the U.S. included some paintings from her most recent series "My Eternal Soul"  were on exhibit.

 

From her original performances in the 1960s, when she staged underground polka dot “Happenings” on the streets of New York, to her latest Infinity Mirror Room,  All The Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016, the Hirshhorn exhibition showcases Kusama’s full range of talent. The unforgettable sensory journey through the mind and legacy of one of the world’s most popular artists pushes us in a self-introspection exercise where one is transposed in a world devoid of points of reference. The unique approach in Yayoi Kusama's Obliteration Room is a room Kusama constructed as a large domestic environment with chairs, couches, tables, phones all brilliantly white, to serve as a giant white canvas. The act of communal "obliteration" rids the room of the stark white by each visitor using the colored stickers given to them upon entry, to transform the room into an explosion of color. Interactive art for all who dare.

 

Yayoi Kusama "Infinity Mirrors" is currently in NYC across three gallery spaces in New York: Festival of Life at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in Chelsea and Infinity Nets on 34 East 69th Street on the Upper East Side.

 

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Christian Dior -  Couturier du Reve // Musée des Arts Decoratifs - Paris // July 5- January 7, 2018

Fashion mega retrospectives have gained a huge audience and interest in recent years, from the Met's infamous Alexander MacQueen to the recent Comme des Garçons show. Paris features one of France's fashion darlings, the House of Dior.  Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Christian Dior, the 32,000sq/ft extravaganza performance space is a staggering show of colors from perfume to shoes, handbags (with an actual demonstration of how a bag is made) to jewelry, and accessories. 
The succession of rooms is a tribute to the many of the successive Creative Directors (Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and the current, first female, holder of the post, Maria Grazia Chiuri). Each of these YSL Creative leaders reinvented the brand, one after the next to make it an iconic fashion house. 
The highly symbolic transitions into historical periods feature each an amazing interpretation of creativity where fashion constantly blurs with art. 
The show cleverly put Dior's creations into historical context, juxtaposing Picasso, Dali, Matisse with Dior's masterpieces and highlight the designer's inspiration. 

An array of paper flowers was installed like a hanging garden by Wanda artists to depict Christian Dior’s passion for flowers and gardens - one which has proved a constant inspiration for the brand’s creations. They bloom alongside floral dresses by Christian Dior and his successors, right up to Maria Grazia Chiuri, all against a backdrop of artworks by Claude Monet and Marc Quinn.


The most stunning experience of the exhibition is the last room.  A replica of Versailles' Palais des Glaces (the Mirrors' Palace) which was a source of inspiration for Dior. The room showcases on stage hundreds of celebrities dresses and in the middle multi-colored and reflective mirrors from floor to ceiling. The visitors will find themselves swirling among the dresses and the changing colors and light show. 

 

Whitney's Biennale 2017 //  March 17–June 11, 2017 // New York City

This year's Biennial is the seventy-eighth edition of the longest-running survey of American art, creativity, and culture, it arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community. The Biennial features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design.  

Two works that really captivated myself and my twelve-year-old daughter were:

A video installation Post Commodity by Raven Chacon, Cristobal Martinez, and Kade L. Twist shows several miles of the Mexican border fence lending a voice to engage the assault like manifestations of a global market and other institutions. 

In Samara Golden’s site-specific installation for the 2017 Biennial, handmade sculptures of furniture and other everyday objects create a series of environments that appear to be in conflict with each other and a repetition of reality to imagery, which is infinitely reflected through the use of mirrors on the ceiling and floor.

These three exhibits located in three different cities reflects also the mood of a society and the nature of our time; a culture of self-vindication, with a desire for self-image overdrive and ongoing statements to be made for everyone to see while on the move. It is also a time of engagement and opinion growing stronger and stronger. The future is bound to facilitate the eclosion of even stronger art statement in 2018 largely reflecting how our world is moving forward, or not depending on one's opinion and location in the world. 

 

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