Culture / Art Republik

Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Room’ To Exhibit At Hirshhorn This Spring

Hirshhorn Musuem in Washington reopens with Yayoi Kusama’s groundbreaking, immersive works — a tribute to the life and practice of the visionary artist. Highly anticipated, the exhibition will be available to visitors from 1 April onwards.

Mar 10, 2022 | By Cleo Yong
Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room series
Image: Hirshhorn Musuem

This Spring, Yayoi Kusama’s more recent entries into the ongoing “Infinity Mirrored Room” series will be exhibited in Washington, D.C., at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Following that, the artwork will be displayed at New York’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery in 2023, after the expansion of the Albright-Knox campus.

The highly anticipated ‘One with Eternity’ exhibition was set to open in March 2020 and got postponed when the Hirshhorn Museum closed for 17 months due to Covid-19. 

On the museum’s reopening announcement, Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu told Washington Post that the Japanese artist’s work has a permanent place in the city and elevated the museum’s national profile. Chiu adds: “Kusama has built her practice around ideas of celebration and inclusion. There is no better artist than Kusama and no better reason to welcome visitors back to the Hirshhorn.”

Similar to other prolific works by the reputable 92-year-old artist, Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018) is an immersive and enthralling installation. When visitors step into the room, they are embraced with an illusion of a seemingly endless universe made by glowing, polka-dotted paper lanterns ‘floating’ about.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room series
Image: Hirshhorn Musuem

Hirshhorn acquired five pieces in total, including the Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (1965). This iconic artwork features irregular pillows with Kusama’s trademark red dots, placed within a mirrored room as well.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room series
Image: Hirshhorn Musuem

Janne Sirén, Albright-Knox’s director, expressed how Kusama is “a trailblazer and a visionary”. On ARTnews, Sirén adds: “this particular Room is transformational. It is emblematic of Kusama’s kinetic use of colour as well as her lifelong disruption of art viewership, as she asks us to see ourselves seeing.”

The Hirshhorn Museum has been collecting the contemporary artist’s artworks since 1996. Previously, 475,000 visitors were attracted to the D.C. museum when Kusama’s pieces travelled to five North American art museums, according to Hirshhorn’s 2017 survey. Altogether, the travelling exhibition recorded 1.2 million visitors at the six institutions it stopped at. As per Smithsonian, “the hashtag #InfiniteKusama reached 93 million Twitter and Instagram accounts, with 355 million impressions”. This year, we can expect the numbers to be close to 2017’s or even surpass it.

In October 2017, the artist went on to open her own five-storey museum in Tokyo to present, promote and preserve her art. To date, the buzz around Kusama’s famed kaleidoscopic and psychedelic rooms is still alive. And from what history has presented, Kusama’s highly revered masterpieces will remain legendary and continue to inspire on a global level.

The One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection exhibition will run from 1 April to 27 November 2022. Free, same-day timed passes will be distributed daily at Hirshhorn. Learn more here.

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