a trio show in three distinctive spaces

Ten Thousand Waves - Issac Julien / Yayoi Kusama / The Hallucinations of Poets - Hernan Bas

The Victoria Miro Gallery is one of our favourites in London in terms of spatial quality. Converted from an old warehouse to the current gallery complex by Claudio Silvestrin & Michael Dain Architects, this week the gallery opens a trio show with three artists showing works in 3 types of media in 3 distinctive spaces within their premise. 


Once you walked into the gallery, you would find the works of Hernan Bas in the ground floor showspace and the upper level attic. The colours and landscape background in Hernan's paintings blend in very well with the attic's exposed timber frames. In this show, the paintings are all subjected with young men isolated in a gloomy grotesque landscape settings, but highlighted with sparkling or colo. They evoke a sense of "Dark Romantics", as the gallery press release says.

Hernan Bas's paintings shown at the attic (as well as the ground floor gallery space which inter-connect with the attic by a void)

The insertion of young man into bizarre landscape settings create a tense yet interesting image

Previous dialogue with Hernan Bas in New York:
A Conversation with Hernan Bas at the Brooklyn Museum in 02.2009


Outside the building lie the wild flowers by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Contrary to her previous work in the same space, this time she is as pop as ever and the 3 flora installations have definitely spiced up the calm backgarden. The presence of real nature provides an even-more contrasting aspect of the pseudo-nature (or mutated-nature) in Yayoi's works.

Yayoi Kusama's "Flowers that Bloom Tomorrow" negotiating with the private view crowd

The signature 'pop' of Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama - I Love ME trailer by jpop4america:


At the top floor studio where the space is reduced to the minimal white walls, framless glazing and timber flooring; 9 photographs taken in the making of Issac Julien's film "Ten Thousand Waves" are displayed. The photographs have a very engineered feel with its glossy surface and the very subject of a movie set (the green screen, the ancient costume etc.), which re-inforce the artificiality of the minimal space they are situated.

Looking down the narrow staircase from top floor dance studio

Glass House (Ten Thousand Waves) by Issac Julien, 2010

A previous film by Issac:
"Baltimore by Issac Julien" by Alavaraoa


It is an enjoyable visit which shows the power of well-executed curatorship.

Full photo set

Further Readings -
Page: Official page for the show in Victoria Miro online - Issac Julien / Hernan Bas / Yayoi Kusama
Page: Wikipedia entry for Hernan Bas
Page: Hernan Bas introduced by Saatchi Gallery
Page: Official page of Ten Thousand Waves
Video: Hernan Bas by Nicole Davis for Artnet TV
Video: Yayoi Kusama - Kusama's Self Obliteration (1967) by Andyfshito
Video: Director Isaac Julien and actor Tilda Swinton discuss "Derek" by sundancechannel


And a side note - londonist has started a series called London Street Art Guide. Stik, Eine & CitizenKane are so far featured -