Yayoi Kusama’s polka-dot pumpkins are coming to the New York Botanical Garden

July 9, 2019

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.

Alongside a collection of early sketchbooks where Kusama first began documenting her fascination with nature, the exhibition will showcase multiple installations, featuring both her signature Infinity Rooms and site-specific polka-dotted sculptures of flowers and pumpkins, as well as smaller-scale works on paper, to be installed across NYBG’s 250-acres and in its historic buildings. Though we don’t have too many details yet, the show will also debut Kusama’s “first-ever participatory greenhouse installation that will be transformed over the course of the exhibition,” per a recent press release. A robust series of public programming will complement the show.

“We are thrilled to present this unprecedented installation of Yayoi Kusama’s work, including new sculptures made especially for our site. In a lifetime of finding inspiration in nature and pushing against boundaries and biases, she developed a unique lexicon for artistic expression,” notes Carrie Rebora Barratt, CEO, and president of NYBG. “While these works appear as mostly abstract forms to viewers, they are manifestations of how she sees the universe, specifically the natural world. We are grateful to her for sharing her vision and helping us realize this once-in-a-lifetime display at the Garden for our visitors.”

Sponsored by the MetLife Foundation, the exhibition will be on view May 2 through November 1, 2020.



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