She’s known for brightly-colored, otherworldly pieces like giant pumpkin sculptures and Lite-Brite-on-steroids-style infinity rooms, and now Yayoi Kusama is operating on an even grander scale at the New York Botanical Garden.
The highly-acclaimed and heavily-Instagrammed artist’s exhibition, Kusama: Cosmic Nature, will take over the venue until the end of October this year. The newly-opened outdoor exhibition examines the 92-year-old Japanese artist’s lifelong fascination with nature. It was due to take place last year but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kusama’s I Want to Fly to the Universe (2020) installation © Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Photo by Robert Benson Photography
Visitors to the Bronx landmark are finally getting to enjoy Kusama’s signature paintings, mirrored spaces and huge organic sculptures that cover the garden’s 250-acre grounds inside and out. They’ll also enjoy a study of her early work (think: botanical sketches, biomorphic collages and soft sculpture), along with a horticultural showcase based on one of her paintings. And perhaps best of all, there is a participatory greenhouse that will grow and change throughout the six-month exhibition.
Narcissus Garden 1966/2021 contains 1400 mirrored steel balls © Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Photo by Robert Benson Photography
“In a lifetime of finding inspiration in nature and pushing against boundaries and biases, [Kusama] developed a unique lexicon for artistic expression,” says Carrie Rebora Barratt, CEO and the William C. Steere Sr. president of the New York Botanical Garden. “While these works appear as mostly abstract forms to viewers, they are manifestations of how she sees the universe, specifically the natural world.”
In keeping with the times, entry guidelines will adhere to social distancing practices. Kusama: Cosmic Nature will run until 31 October and entry is timed with allocated slots. Further information is available on the website here.
This article was first published on 19 July 2019 and updated on 19 April 2021.
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