On Tuesday this week was it time again for my friend, Iris and I to visit Louisiana in Humlebæk, Denmark again.
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is located, 35km north of Copenhagen. A place that give calmness and relaxing, beautiful situated on the shore of the Øresund Sound.
For us living in county Skåne (Scania) – is the easiest way to get there … 20 min ferry trip from Helsingborg to Helsingør and then a 10 min train journey to Humlebæk.
Being on the museum’s ground you can see Landskrona on the other side of the sound. It’s the same distance from there to Copenhagen as it from Landskrona.
When we visit in the spring we bought a membership card for 1+1 friends, that give us free entrance and 10% discount on everything at the museum, a fantastic value.
This time was it the Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, that was the goal for our visit. There had been quite few articles about her in Swedish press – I had never heard about her before. Her exhibition has been a hug success for Louisiana and when we arrived there an hour after opening time – the place was mobbed. The exhibition has been on since September this year and still draws people – on until end of January next year.
Quite a lot of German and English spoken visitors … and I understand why. What an exhibition. Louisiana unfolds Kusama’s life’s work in fascinating retrospective exhibition, the first in Scandinavia.
Based in Tokyo, Kusama (b. 1929) has gained world fame in recent decades for her universe of brightly coloured, sprawling patterns covering the surfaces of paintings and sculptures and spreading across entire rooms.
Kusama became a fixture of the New York avant-garde, having her works exhibited alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal during the early 1960s, where she became associated with the pop art movement.
Embracing the rise of the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, Kusama came to public attention when she organized a series of happenings in which naked participants were painted with brightly coloured polka dots.
In 1973, Kusama moved back to Japan, where she found the art scene far more conservative than that in New York. Becoming an art dealer, her business folded after several years, and after experiencing psychiatric problems, in 1977 she voluntarily admitted herself to a hospital, where she were she still lives today.
At the exhibition there was 3 mirror rooms: Dots Obsession: (2 rooms – Dotted pumpkins and Balloon room) and Infinity Mirror Room (which is very small, only 5 visitors at the time). I just love the Dots Obsession rooms.
Yayoi Kusama Louis Vuitton, which launched in the summer of 2012, was probably the largest artist collaboration initiated by any luxury goods or fashion house to date, encompassing leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, sunglasses, watches and jewellery; a roll-out of stroboscopic Kusama window schemes in 460 Louis Vuitton stores in 64 countries; and the creation of seven special concept stores at locations that included Printemps in Paris, Selfridges in London and Isetan Shinjuku and Dover Street Market in Tokyo.
For Selfridges, the Kusama collaboration represented the largest single brand takeover the store has ever engaged in For Selfridges, the Kusama collaboration represented the largest single brand takeover the store has ever engaged in; all 24 windows across the facade were bathed in pointillist, primary-coloured swirls and maxi-dots and mini-Kusama dolls. And text in English and Japanese spelling out a poem by the artist. Red flags with white polka dots flapped from the store’s flagpoles.
A year later, incredible handsome George Clooney, was all dressed up in a customized suit made by Giorgio Armani, on the cover of W Magazine, covered in Kusama’s famous spots.
Since her earliest formative years, in a family who made their living cultivating plant seeds, so she has been fascinated by nature.
After her return from New York to Japan she rediscovered the theme, and began making serial works depicting the pumpkin in various media: paintings; prints; sculpture; installation; and environmental works. She has made tiny pumpkins no bigger than a key ring, and monumental.
Her bronze pumpkins was always on display outside the entrance of Louisiana – they took her 2 years to finish. They were on show for the first time at Victoria Miro Garden, London, in 2014.
Even at her age today is she very active – 8 massive paintings have she done this year and they are also shown; strong, fun and very colourful. Very powerful !!!! And it’s not like she is using big brushes .. no very small and with a precision work. Can’t image how many hours each painting just have taken her. And she is 86 years old.
In 2008, Christies New York sold a work by her for $5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist.
Just like Yko Ono is Kusama … full of wonderful madness in her art. I was blow away with the US artist, Tara Donovan, a couple of years ago … but Kusama took me with storm.
A day at Louisiana doesn’t only mean fascinating art – it also means great lunch with a fantastic view in the most beautiful surroundings. Their Cafe has the best view in Denmark.
We didn’t have any sunshine, but it was nice .. and not once of a breeze – even if we just by the ocean. Had the lunch inside .. but the afternoon coffee break we enjoyed sitting outside.
For lunch I had a wonderful open sandwich, steamed salmon, dill-mustard mayo, garlic sprouts and gremolata .. and with my coffee before our home journey, a c meringue filled with chocolate-liquorice cream.
That meringue was a perfect round up of 4 fantastic hours at one of my favorite places in Denmark.
The autumn came late this season, but since it’s arriving it has gone very quickly and in Denmark with all their beech trees .. our walk from and to the station in Humlebæk was surrounded with intense colours. A walk that takes about 15-20 min.
I loved every minute of our day at Louisiana and Kusama truly made my day. So wired that it’s hard not to love her and her art. Not only me that left with a big smile on the face.
“I, Kusama, am the modern Alice in Wonderland.”