The Easel

12th November 2019

Yayoi Kusama’s Radical Work Goes Far beyond Her Infinity Rooms

Kusama’s infinity rooms are so popular they obscure the broader career theme. Pattern repetition appears in her earliest work as a way of invoking infinity. From those 1950’s paintings and performance pieces, the first immersive infinity room (in 1965) seems not so large a jump. Don’t be misled by popularity, suggests a critic, “It would be disingenuous to say that [the infinity room] fails to encourage introspection.”

Acting out

The performance artist Pope.L is basking in a survey show at MoMA. It highlights his most provocative act – crawling city streets. One such “intervention” covered 22 miles, done over nine years. Social justice is his major focus. But why crawl? Says one curator “He’s constantly putting pressure on symbols of success and aspirational behavior”. And is it art? Says another “it’s art because it’s reimagining something.”

5th November 2019

Kirchner’s Colors

Colour, for Kirchner, wasn’t about subtlety. He wanted brute force. Colour reflected emotion and emotions, both personally and socially, were running high. Urbanization, the disfunction of German society, changing sexual norms, all made for a nervy big city environment. Add to this Kirchner’s addictions and wartime trauma, and you have a memorably bold, emotionally disturbing artist. Images are here.

Jacolby Satterwhite

Will Satterwhite turn out to be an important artist? Wall to wall coverage of his solo show suggests he may. He is an art world generalist, using multimedia, animation and performance in “wildly ingenious” ways to distill pop culture memes. “The question of permanence hovers in the air … explorations of how to make something last and whether or not one wants to make that type of commitment”.