A world famous icon of contemporary art, Yayoi Kusama has interwoven ideas of pop art, minimalism, and psychedelia throughout her work in paintings, performances, room-size presentations, outdoor sculptural installations, literary works, films, design, and architectural interventions over her long and influential career.
This November, the artist will debut a massive balloon, 30 feet long, 36 feet wide, and 34 feet tall, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, coinciding with her latest exhibition at David Zwirner. Titled Love Flies Up to the Sky, the balloon has been created in collaboration with ballon specialists who are trained in 3-D modeling, aerodynamic design, and balloon fabrication. Lending itself that distinct playful whimsy, Yayoi Kusama's artistry would be now brought to a parade scale. The nationally televised spectacle, typically watched by 50 million households, is sure to heighten the Kusama fever.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama with Pumpkin, 2010 © YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore / Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York.
Currently on view at David Zwirner, the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Every day I Pray for Love brings together new paintings, new sculptures, an immersive installation by Kusama, as well as the debut of INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE, 2019.
In the exhibition, the audience has a unique opportunity to see new works in the artist's iconic My Eternal Soul series, singular explorations of line and form, as well as a large, new floor-based constellation composed of almost a hundred different stainless-steel elements. The new Infinity Room, a dream for selfie-takers, contains large hanging light globes that shift from white to red before abruptly going dark, until slowly flickering back to life.
The exhibition will be on view at David Zwirner's 537 West 20th Street location in New York until December 14, 2019.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama in her studio, 2019. Courtesy David Zwirner.
Currently, on view at the museum ICA Boston is the installation LOVE IS CALLING, which first premiered in Japan in 2013. It is the most immersive and kaleidoscopic of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. It combines the breadth of her visual vocabulary, from polka dots and soft sculptures to brilliant colors, the spoken word. As each of her Infinity Mirror Rooms, it provides an endless illusion of space.
While walking through a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms, the visitors can also listen to a sound recording of Kusama reciting her love poem in Japanese that plays continuously. The installation is accompanied by a focused presentation drawn from the ICA’s collection titled Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art After Kusama.
The exhibition will be on view at ICA Boston's Kim and Jim Pallotta Gallery until February 7, 2020.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama - LOVE IS CALLING, 2013. Wood, metal, mirrored glass, vinyl, ceramic tile, acrylic panel, blowers, lighting elements, speakers, and sound. 174 1/2 x 340 5/8 x 239 3/8 inches (443 x 865 x 608). Acquired through the generosity of Barbara Lee/The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women; Fotene Demoulas and Tome Cote; Hillary and Geoffrey Grove; Vivian and Allan Hassenfeld; Jodi and Hal Hess; Barbara H. Lloyd; and an anonymous donor. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro London/Venice © Yayoi Kusama.
Yayoi Kusama’s artwork, Infinity Mirrored Room — My Heart is Dancing into the Universe from 2018 is on view permanently at Contemporary Art Gallery at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville. The room itself is small and filled with mirrors and paper lanterns that have dots that change color, creating an illusion of dots expanding forever into the universe. As you walk through the room, your reflection becomes part of the work with a sense of boundlessness and transcendence through extreme repetition. Only 1-2 people are allowed inside the room at the time, for only 90 seconds.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama - My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, 2018. Wood and glass mirror room with paper lanterns, 119 5/8 × 245 1/8 in. × 245 1/8 in. (303.8 × 622.6 × 622.6 cm). Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.
This winter, the Toledo Museum of Art will host a special exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s site-specific installation, Fireflies on the Water. Like all the other Infinity Rooms, Fireflies on the Water explores the relationship between ourselves, the space that we occupy, and the ungraspable concept of infinity. Through lights and mirrors, it transports viewers to a space that seems endlessly expansive.
Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water will be on view at the Toledo Museum of Art's Canaday Gallery from December 14, 2019.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama - Fireflies on the Water, 2002. Mirrors, plexiglass, lights, and water, 111 × 144 1/2 × 144 1/2 in. (281.9 × 367 × 367 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Postwar Committee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of Betsy Wittenborn Miller 2003.322. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins.
In 2020, the New York Botanical Garden will host a multisensory exhibition of Yayoi Kusama's connection with nature. Across NYBG’s 250-acre landmark landscape and buildings, the exhibition titled KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will feature multiple installations, including her signature mirrored environments and organic forms, polka-dotted sculptures of colossal flora, mesmerizing nature-based paintings, biomorphic collages, works on paper, botanical sketches, as well as a spectacular horticultural showcase in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The audience will also have an opportunity to see some of the artist's new works, including a monumental site-specific pumpkin sculpture and her first-ever participatory greenhouse installation.
KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will be on view at the New York Botanical Garden from May 9 until November 1, 2020.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama with Pumpkin, 2010. © YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore / Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York.
In autumn 2020, the Gropius Bau will host the first comprehensive retrospective in Germany of Yayoi Kusama's work, tracing every of her creative periods from the last seventy years. The exhibition will also include current paintings as well as a new Infinity Room by the artist. Spanning nearly 3000-square-meters of exhibition space, it will take the viewers back to the beginnings of the artist’s widespread popularity in the mid-1960s in German and European contexts, taking them on a journey to the artist's current practice.
The exhibition Yayoi Kusama will be on view at the Gropius Bau museum in Berlin from September 4, 2020 until January 17, 2021. From there, it will travel to the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in April 2021 and to the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Basel in October 2021.
Featured image: Yayoi Kusama - Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field, 1965. Installation, Mixed Media. Copyright YAYOI KUSAMA.