Hirshhorn announces 2020 legacy exhibition with works by Yayoi Kusama

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announces “One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection,” on view April 4 to Sept. 19, 2020. The exhibition debuts the museum’s new acquisitions by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, including two of her renowned Infinity Mirrored Rooms. Building on the legacy of the museum’s 2017 blockbuster survey “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors,” the forthcoming exhibition cements the enduring art-historical connection between the visionary artist and the Smithsonian’s national museum of modern art on the National Mall.

Installation view of Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field, 1965/2017 Yayoi Kusama
Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts ©YAYOI KUSAMA
Photo by Cathy Carver

The exhibition illuminates Kusama’s seven-decade practice in the context of the museum’s recent acquisitions to the permanent collection, including two of her transcendent Infinity Mirrored Rooms and sculptures, including “Pumpkin” (2016) and “Flowers—Overcoat” (1964), an early painting and photographs of the artist. The Hirshhorn’s 2017 survey traveled to five North American art museums. This introduced Kusama’s spellbinding visions to record audiences. Betsy Johnson, assistant curator at the museum, has organized “One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection,” which will also consider the broader context of the artist’s life and practice.

Yayoi Kusama with recent works in Tokyo, 2016
Photo by Tomoaki Makino.
Courtesy of the artist © YAYOI KUSAMA

“After a career spanning almost 80 years, Yayoi Kusama is one of the most influential working artists in the world,” said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. “Her artwork is inextricably linked with our museum’s history and mission: to present the most exciting art and artists of our time. This exhibition extends the impact of our 2017 Kusama survey and its blockbuster tour on our curatorial history. Acquiring two physically immersive Infinity Mirrored Rooms—her first and one of her most recent—positions the Hirshhorn as a permanent resource for art lovers and scholars to experience and study Kusama’s sublime practice.”

Among the new additions to the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection is the artist’s milestone immersive installation “Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Floor Show)” (1965/2017). The exhibition will also introduce one of Kusama’s most recent rooms, to be announced in early 2020.  The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden welcomed almost 160,000 visitors to “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” between Feb. 23 and May 14, 2017. There were a record 475,000 visitors to its building and sculpture garden during the same period. It was the . highest spring visitation since the museum’s opening in 1974, doubling its attendance that year to 1.2 million. 

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