Yayoi Kusama, Flower Obsession (Sunflower) (video still)
Collection of the artist and courtesy of the NYBG
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx has announced that its exhibition devoted to the celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama will open on 10 April (until 30 October) after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The show Kusama: Cosmic Nature will feature four distinct experiences installed throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces of the 250-acre garden. The NYBG plans to offer a limited number of advanced and timed tickets starting on 9 March for patrons, 11 March for members and 16 March for the public. The staggered ticketing system, which has been widely adopted by institutions that have re-opened in the US during the pandemic, aims to promote social distancing and mitigate the risk of crowding in high-traffic areas. “Managing density within the garden has been a major consideration,” a spokesman for the NYBG tells The Art Newspaper. “Tickets will be limited to no more than 33% capacity for outdoor venues and no more than 25% capacity for indoor venues.”
Infinity Mirrored Room–Illusion Inside the Heart (2017), Kurkku fields, Chiba, Japan. Mirror-polished stainless steel, glass mirrors, colored glass
Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; David Zwirner, New York; Victoria Miro, London. Photo: OWL corp
The show will include Infinity Mirrored Room—Illusion Inside the Heart (2020). A newly commissioned iteration of Kusama’s series of immersive installations, this one comprises a cube-like glass structure with a reflective surface pierced by small holes. The works typically attract hours-long queues and the NYBG originally planned to charge visitors an extra $10 (in addition to the regular $35 admission) to enter the installation. However, depending on New York State and City Covid-19 guidelines, it may have to wait until the summer to decide whether visitors will be permitted to enter the work. In the meantime, the centrepiece of the show will remain viewable from the outside, poetically reflecting the changing seasons, the potential of thousands of art selfies tantalisingly out of reach. The show will also include previously unseen archival materials and three other new commissions, including monolithic biomorphic figures and the artist’s signature polka-dotted designs on whimsical sculpted plants and flowers. Last year, Kusama shared a heartfelt message in support of the plans to reschedule the show. “The passion that I and those at the NYBG have poured into this exhibition is still burning [and] I hope everyone will wait,” she wrote.