'Festival of Life': Yayoi Kusama's new multi-sensory exhibit

The exhibitions, presented by David Zwirner Gallery, features the work of celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

New York, NY

#Art & Culture

img.0 The oversized flower-potted tulips are made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Image © designboom.

David Zwirner Gallery presents ‘Festival of Life’, a multi-sensory exhibit of recent work by celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in New York City. The exhibition features sixty-six paintings from Kusama’s iconic ‘My eternal soul’ series, new large-scale flower sculptures, a polka-dotted environment, and two ‘Infinity Mirror Rooms’.
img.1 The exhibition presents the first showing of Kusama’s tulips in the United States. Image © designboom.

The exhibition debuts two of Yayoi Kusama’s new ‘Infinity Mirror Rooms’, one which invites viewers to look inside through peepholes, and another which can be experienced from within. For the immersive infinity room, stainless steel balls create a sense of infinity through the play of reflections between the circular shapes and the surrounding mirrors. The ‘peephole’ infinity room features miniature light bulbs in changing colors which reveal a hexagonal pattern.
img.2 Installation view, Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life, David Zwirner, New York, 2017. Image © Yayoi Kusama / Courtesy of David Zwirner.

The exhibit also features a sculptural installation from Kusama’s series ‘With all my love for the tulips, I pray forever’ (2011). The oversized flower tulips are made using fiber-glass reinforced plastic and are painted with the same red polka dots as the floor, ceiling and walls. the immersive rooms create an all-enveloping viewing experience, eliminating the appearance of depth and transporting visitors to a red and white polka-dot land.
img.3 Sculpture from Kusama’s series, ‘With all my love for the tulips, I pray forever’ (2011). Image © designboom.

In the third space of the exhibition, large scale paintings from the artist’s ‘My eternal soul’ series have been arranged in a grid on all four walls. At the center of the room, Kusama’s new steel sculptures portray colorful flowers which complement the bold color palette of the paintings.
img.4 The tulip flowers are painted in the same pattern as the walls, creating an optical illusion. Image © designboom.

A concurrent exhibition has also opened at David Zwirner’s east 69th street location, where ‘Infinity nets’ paintings from her 1950s series will also be on view. The two major shows continue until December 16, 2017 across both galleries. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition in 2013 with Kusama’s ‘I who have arrived in heaven’ also spanned all three spaces at west 19th, while her second gallery solo show featuring the ‘Obliteration room‘ was held in 2015.
img.5 Visitors can walk around the infinity room and experience the illusion from multiple angles. Image © designboom.
img.6 The balls recall Kusama’s installation ‘Narcisuss garden’ shown at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966. Image © designboom.
img.7 In the second infinity room, peepholes reveal flashing light patterns of different colors. Image © designboom.
img.8 Changing colors reveal a hexagonal pattern that is mirrored endlessly. Image © designboom.
img.9 The use of colors adds to kusama’s bold color palette throughout the exhibit. Image © designboom.
img.10 The use of light and mirror creates distinct architectural scenarios. Image © designboom.
img.11 The recent ‘My eternal soul’ paintings are accompanied by Kusama’s new stainless-steel sculptures. Image © designboom.
img.12 The stainless-steel flowers have been covered with urethane paint. Image © designboom.


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