LOS ANGELES – The Broad’s first visiting special exhibition, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors – the first institutional survey to explore the celebrated Japanese artist’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms – will embark on the most significant North American tour of her work in nearly two decades, and The Broad will be the only California museum to host the exhibition when it comes to Los Angeles in 2017.
Following its debut at the organizing institution – Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – on Feb. 23, 2017, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors will travel to four major museums in the United States and Canada, including the Seattle Art Museum (June 30–Sept. 10, 2017), The Broad in Los Angeles (Oct. 2017–Jan. 2018), the Art Gallery of Ontario (March–May 2018) and the Cleveland Museum of Art (July–Oct. 2018).
Since opening in September 2015, The Broad has featured Kusama’s installation Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013, from the Broad collection. One of the most popular artworks on view at The Broad, the installation is a mirror-lined chamber populated with a dazzling and seemingly vast array of LED lights creating a disorienting sense of limitless space. The work will be accessible to free general admission ticket holders until the opening of the Kusama paid special exhibition in mid-October 2017, when it will transition to be included in the special exhibition through early January 2018.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors will provide visitors with the unique opportunity to experience six of Kusama’s infinity rooms – the artist’s most iconic kaleidoscopic environments – alongside large-scale installations and key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present, which contextualize the foundational role the concept of infinity has played in the artist’s work over many decades and through diverse media. The exhibition also marks the North American debut of numerous new works by the 87-year-old artist, who is still actively creating in her Tokyo studio. These include large-scale, vibrantly colored paintings and the recently realized infinity room, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016, featuring dozens of her signature bright yellow, dotted pumpkins.
The exhibition will conclude with Kusama’s iconic participatory installation The Obliteration Room (below), 2002, an all-white replica of a traditional domestic setting. Upon entering, visitors will be invited to cover every surface of the furnished gallery with multicolored polka dot stickers, gradually engulfing the entire space in pulsating color.
Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Nagano, in 1929. She studied traditional Nihonga (Japanese-style) painting in Kyoto and moved to New York City in 1958. There, she was active in avant-garde circles during the formative years of Pop art and Minimalism, exhibiting her work alongside such artists as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow – figures who have cited Kusama as influential to the development of assemblage, environmental art and performative practices.
Kusama exhibited widely in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands in the mid-’60s, participating in exhibitions with artists associated with Nul, Zero and the New Tendency in Europe, where she began developing her interest in the optics and interactive elements of mirrors, electric lights, sound and kinetics.
Kusama’s fame grew in the late 1960s through her radical antiwar happenings, which espoused nudity and polka dots in the streets of New York. Because of ongoing struggles with her health, Kusama returned to Japan in 1973, where she has since resided. In recent years, Kusama has achieved celebrity status as well as tremendous critical respect.
For more information visit thebroad.org/art/special-exhibitions/yayoi-kusama-infinity-mirrors.