Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms Coming to Atlanta in Fall 2018
February 13, 2017
High Museum of Art to present the renowned Japanese artist’s most significant North American exhibition in 20 years
ATLANTA, Feb. 13, 2017 – The High Museum of Art today announced that it has joined the national tour for “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors,” the first survey exhibition to explore the evolution of the celebrated Japanese artist’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms. Organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum, the exhibition will be on view at the High from Nov. 18, 2018 through Feb. 17, 2019.
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” provides visitors with the unique opportunity to experience six of the artist’s Infinity Mirror Rooms—her iconic kaleidoscopic environments—as well as additional large-scale installations, sculptures, paintings, works on paper, and archival photographs and films from the early 1950s through the present. The exhibition features numerous new works by the 87-year-old artist, who is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and is still very active in her Tokyo studio. New works include vibrantly colored paintings and the recently completed infinity room “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” (2016), featuring dozens of Kusama’s signature bright-yellow, dotted pumpkin sculptures.
Spanning the entire second floor of the High’s Wieland Pavilion, the exhibition will allow visitors to take a once-in-a-lifetime journey through more than 60 years of Kusama’s creative genius.
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” begins with the artist’s original landmark installation, “Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field” (1965/2016), featuring a vast expanse of red-spotted white tubers in a room lined with mirrors, which create a dazzling illusion of infinite space.
The exhibition will also include “Infinity Mirrored Room—Love Forever” (1966/1994), a hexagonal chamber into which viewers peer from the outside to see colored flashing lights that reflect endlessly from ceiling to floor. The work is a re-creation of Kusama’s legendary 1966 mirror room “Kusama’s Peep Show” (or “Endless Love Show”), in which the artist staged group performances in her studio.
Kusama’s signature bold polka dots will be featured in “Dots Obsession—Love Transformed into Dots” (2007), a domed mirror room surrounded by inflatables suspended from the ceiling. The artist’s more recent LED environments, filled with lanterns or crystalline balls that seem to extend infinitely, will be represented in “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” (2009) and “Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” (2013).
“Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms open onto places within the imagination that are beautiful and transcendent. Like sensory deprivation chambers, they leave the viewer grappling to reconcile the totality of the cosmos with a sense of microcosmic infinity within the body,” said Michael Rooks, the High’s Wieland Family curator of modern and contemporary art. “It is an enormous privilege to present this foundational work by Kusama.”
Also on view in the exhibition will be a selection of more than 60 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, including many of Kusama’s infrequently shown collages, which she made after returning to Japan following a stay in New York City from 1957 to 1973. These works trace the artist’s trajectory from her early surrealist works on paper, “Infinity Net” paintings, and “Accumulation” assemblages to recent paintings and soft sculptures, which highlight recurring themes of nature and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, unity and isolation, obsession and detachment, and life and death.
The exhibition will conclude with Kusama’s iconic participatory installation “The Obliteration Room” (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 to gradually engulf the entire space in color.
Prior to its presentation at the High, “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will be on view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Feb. 23–May 14, 2017); Seattle Art Museum (June 30–Sept. 10, 2017); The Broad, Los Angeles (Oct. 21, 2017–Jan. 10, 2018); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (March 3–May 27, 2018); and Cleveland Museum of Art (July 9–Sept. 30, 2018).
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue that takes an unprecedented interdisciplinary approach to the artist’s work and includes a catalogue raisonné of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, along with an illustrated chronology and artist biography with newly published archival material. Contributing authors introduce new research that sheds light on this pioneering contemporary artist. The book includes essays by Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Associate Curator Mika Yoshitake; Gloria Sutton, assistant professor of contemporary art history and new media at Northeastern University; and Alexander Dumbadze, professor of art history at The George Washington University. The essays are accompanied by an interview with Kusama by Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu.
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” is organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
About the High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; a substantial collection of historical and contemporary decorative arts and design; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk and self-taught art, and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. Through its education department, the High offers programs and experiences that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit high.org.
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Marci Tate Davis
Manager of Public Relations