The Cleveland Museum of Art opens 'Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors'

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The Cleveland Museum of Art opens 'Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors'
Installation view of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017. Left to right: Living on the Yellow Land (2015); My Adolescence in Bloom (2014); Welcoming the Joyful Season (2014); Surrounded by Heartbeats (2014); Unfolding Buds (2015); Story After Death (2014). Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929). © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver.

CLEVELAND, OH.- Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors celebrates the legendary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s 65-year career. The exhibition spans the range of Kusama’s work, from her groundbreaking paintings and performances of the 1960s, when she staged polka-dot “Happenings” in the streets of New York, to her widely admired immersive installations and the U.S. debut of her recent series of paintings, My Eternal Soul. Visitors have the unprecedented opportunity to experience seven of Kusama’s captivating Infinity Mirror Rooms, including Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016), exclusive to Cleveland. Additionally, a stunning array of large and vibrant paintings, sculptures, installations, works on paper and rare archival materials can also be seen. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is on view in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall and Gallery, and in the Ames Family Atrium, July 7 through September 30, 2018. The Cleveland Museum of Art is the only Midwest venue for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors and one of only five U.S. venues to present this exhibition.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors highlights the evolution of Kusama’s immersive, reflective Infinity Mirror Rooms. Throughout her career, Kusama has produced more than 20 distinct Infinity Mirror Rooms, ranging from peep show-like chambers to expansive multimedia installations; each one offers the chance to enter a kaleidoscopic universe and experience an illusion of infinite space. Evoking the experience of virtual reality, the rooms demonstrate art’s ability to represent alternatives to everyday life using analog formats.

“This exhibition celebrates the remarkable career and enduring legacy of one of the most important living artists who continues to evolve and inspire as an artist and activist,” said Reto Thüring, curator of contemporary art and chair of modern, contemporary, decorative arts, and performing arts and film. “The show’s narrative spans the entire arc of Kusama’s groundbreaking oeuvre, from her early collages, paintings and sculptures, up to some of her most recent Infinity Mirror Rooms and architectural installations.”

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors begins with Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, for which trees, outside the museum and on historic Wade Oval, are wrapped in fabric covered with Kusama’s signature polka-dot motif. In the CMA’s light-filled atrium space, visitors will encounter the site-specific installation Narcissus Garden (1966 – present) as well as Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016), the only Infinity Mirror Room to date that solely employs natural light. Together, these works form a dazzling array of reflective surfaces. In the special exhibition galleries, visitors will encounter many of Kusama’s most captivating Infinity Mirrored Rooms, from Phalli’s Field—the first room Kusama made in 1965—to The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013), a room that is dimly lit by hundreds of LED lights that pulsate in varying rhythms. In addition, the paintings, collages, works on paper, sculptures and archival material on view span more than six decades of the artist’s career, illustrating her fascinating artistic journey.

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