Yayoi Kusama in 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Opening May 9th and running until November at the New York Botanical Garden, a blockbuster exhibition dedicated to Yayoi Kusama will immerse us in the Japanese artist’s visionary world. As the exhibition begins to take shape, we got our first sneak peek of the ambitious plans, which include a career-spanning survey, the debut of four new works, and a variety of complementary horticultural installations created by the Garden’s team.
All photos by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft
The New York Botanical Garden’s 28th annual Holiday Train Show is back for the season, and this year it has an entirely new Central Park section, featuring iconic spots like Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, and the Bow Bridge–all made entirely from natural materials including bark, seeds, berries acorns, and cinnamon sticks. 6sqft took a special tour of the exhibit, which features a total of 175 New York landmarks, and went behind-the-scenes with Laura Busse Dolan, President and CEO of Applied Imagination, the design firm that works all year long to make this whimsical show a reality. From the exhibit’s 2,000 plants to its 25,000 pounds of cedar bark and 200 boxes of moss, Laura fills us in on all the fun and little-known facts about the Holiday Train Show.
Take a tour
You’re probably familiar with the big attractions in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. But the borough has a lot more going on, from historic and cultural treats and treasures to new breweries and restaurants and acres of beaches, parks, trails, and gardens. Read on for a collection of destinations in the city’s northernmost, greenest, and most diverse borough that are worth the trip, wherever you’re coming from.
More to do in the Bronx, this way
New York state is home to many spectacular waterfalls that are worthy of any bucket list, but if you know where to look, there are a surprising amount of waterfalls to discover right here in the concrete jungle of New York City. They’re not all “secrets,” but they do tend to exist well off the beaten path, tucked into the more remote parts of Central Park or in small Midtown plazas. Once you’ve found one you’ll likely have a new favorite spot perfect for escaping the city’s unrelenting noise—if only for a short while.
Drown out the city at one of these 6 spots
Kusama with Pumpkin, 2010 ©YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore / Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York
Over the next year, celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama will have a big moment in New York City. In addition to the forthcoming exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery this fall—which will include some of the artist’s insanely popular Infinity Rooms—the New York Botanical Garden has just revealed that its blockbuster 2020 exhibition will be dedicated to Kusama. The exclusive show will include a range of works, old and new, that shed light on the artist’s lifelong engagement with nature, including everything from her famous polka-dot pumpkins to her signature Infinity Rooms.
Photo courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden
Brazilian modernist artist, landscape architect, and plant conservationist Roberto Burle Marx will be the subject of the latest exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden, opening on June 8. Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx will not only be NYBG’s biggest exhibition ever, but it will also be the first to bring Burle Marx’s horticultural visions to life in an immersive way. Alongside a gallery of his paintings, drawings, and textiles, visitors will also be able to walk through lush gardens inspired by his designs.
All the details
Even if you’ve never managed to keep a succulent alive for more than a month, there’s no denying that apartment greenery is having a moment. Luckily, New York is full of plant shops and other great spots offering classes and workshops to locals looking to shore up their green thumbs and maybe not kill a plant the second it crosses their threshold. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the 10 best, from terrarium and flower-crown making to botanical mixology to the principles of hydroponics.
Check out the list
Image credit: Ben Hider via NYBG.
While New York City’s brief autumn speeds by in the blink of an eye, the New York Botanical Garden can help make the most of the season’s glory. The old-growth Thain Family Forest at the NYBG offers one of the region’s best opportunities to view autumn’s majestic hues via a live fall “color cam.” Even better, you can experience the largest uncut expanse of New York’s original wooded landscape, walk long-ago Native American hunting trails and see marks left by glaciers shaded by trees that date back to the American Revolution with events happening on the NYBG’s fall forest weekends this month.
More Autumn attractions and fall fun, this way
Photo via NYBG
For the past 26 years, the New York Botanical Garden has been putting on their annual Holiday Train Show, set against a backdrop of 150 NYC landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials. In addition to classics like the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty, this year’s exhibition showcases new replicas of iconic Midtown skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building, and St. Bartholomew’s Church.
And while this is certainly a magical treat for children, NYBG puts on something special for adults, too. The 21-and-over Bar Car Nights are after-dark viewings of the Train Show, complete with seasonal bars, the all-new Visitor Center Fire Pit, live dueling piano performances in the cafe, and illuminated Snow Globe Dancers that will guide your through the grounds. Sound like fun? The Garden is offering three lucky 6sqft readers a pair of tickets to these special evenings.
Find out how to enter
The holiday season in New York is one of the most magical times, packed with lots of events to perpetuate the experience. Aside from ice skating, holiday-themed bars, and the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to tuck into these art exhibitions and events to get you into the spirit! From old standbys like the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show to contemporary offerings like Yayoi Kusama’s glittering installations in Chelsea and Erwin Redl’s haunting field of glowing orbs at Madison Square Park, we’ve rounded up the 14 best must-see artsy exhibits this year.
Our top picks right this way