April 9, 2021
Yayoi Kusama, Flower Obsession (Sunflower), 2000. Courtesy of the artist and NYBG
After a year spent largely inside, New Yorkers have a joyful gift awaiting them at the New York Botanical Garden. Iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama will open exclusively at the New York Botanical Garden and it will be on view April 10–October 31, 2021. Titled KUSAMA: COSMIC NATURE, this presentation will explore the artist’s lifelong engagement with nature, and will include multiple installations, from signature mirrored environments and organic forms, to polka-dotted sculptures of flowers and pumpkins, paintings, and a participatory greenhouse installation that will be transformed over the course of the exhibition.
Postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition includes four experiences debuting at the garden and is installed across the garden’s landscape, in and around its Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and in its LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building.
Narcissus Garden, 2016, The Glass House, New Canaan, CT. 1,400 stainless steel spheres. Collection of the artist.
Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; David Zwirner, New York; Victoria Miro, London.
The exhibition, “Kusama: Cosmic Infinity,” functions as a celebratory reminder that despite the struggles of the past year—and rightly maligned editorials to the contrary—this city is still here, and still has so much to offer. After the long, dark winter, it’s not only the art show we need, but the art show we deserve.
Yayoi Kusama, Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees (2002/2021) at the New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Sarah Cascone.
"For Kusama, cosmic nature is a life force that integrates the terrestrial and celestial orders of the universe from both the micro- and macrocosmic perspectives she investigates in her practice. Her explorations evoke meanings that are both personal and universal," guest curator Dr. Mika Yoshitake said. "Nature is not only a central source of inspiration, but also integral to the visceral effects of Kusama’s artistic language in which organic growth and the proliferation of life are made ever-present."
Yayoi Kusama, Flower Obsession (2017/2021). Photo by Sarah Cascone.
Among the works created for the exhibition is Flower Obsession (2017/2021), Kusama’s first-ever obliteration greenhouse. Visitors may apply coral-colored floral stickers to the greenhouse’s interior objects and transform them, with the repeating patterns and forms of flowers representing the concepts of obliteration, infinity and eternity.
KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature has a new, limited, timed-entry ticketing system to stagger visitors’ arrivals and promote social distancing. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required and will be confirmed by e-mail with the option to print or download a mobile ticket.
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