Stockholm’s Moderna Museet Is Weird And Brilliant


Yayoi Kusama’s engrossing, technicolor creations make up the latest exhibition. 

Stockholm’s Moderna Museet is featured on our Neighbourhood Guide because we think it’s an absolute must if you’re in town. Entrance is free for the permanent collection – which includes more Picasso’s and Dali’s than you could shake a melting clock at – and there’s a lovely café and bookshop too. Today we’re focusing on a specific exhibition they’re putting on, though: Yayoi Kusama: In Infinity.

Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama’s life has teetered between tragedy and beauty ever since she experienced the flowers she was painting talking to her as a child. These hallucinations and others have been a permanent feature of her cognitive experience – she’s been living in a psychiatric institution since the 1970s – and they appear in almost all her artworks. One of the most prominent mental phenomena she experiences are spots, that's partly why they appear everywhere in her art. 

Mirror Room (Exhibition View), Yayoi Kusama. Image Courtesy of Moderna Museet

When she fled Japan for bohemian New York in the 1960s, she made a name for herself painting dots on the bodies of orgy participants and staging Vietnam war protests. When she returned to Japan in the late 1970s, the spots remained but her work became characterised by grand, engrossing sculptures and paintings. In In Infinity you can walk through rooms and mirrors layered with spots – it’s an incredible way to lose all sense of time. 

To get to Moderna Museet from Generator Stockholm you can take the 65 bus all the way – ask at reception for details. Tickets for “Yayoi Kusama: In Infinity” cost 150 SEK (130 conc.)