The great polka-dot queen of contemporary art, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, will be featured in a year-long exhibition at SFMOMA that begins this October, and it will include her latest immersive "Infinity Mirror Room."
SFMOMA is being a little bit cagey about the entirety of what is going to be included in this upcoming show, but we know as of today that Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love will be opening October 14, and it will include her latest "Infinity Mirror Room," titled Dreaming of Earth’s Sphericity, I Would Offer My Love (2023). Member preview days are set to begin around October 1.
SFist inquired about how many of Kusama's pieces will be featured in the show, and the press office responded only by saying, "We are excited to reveal more surprises about what the presentation includes as the opening date approaches." All we know is that the show will be installed on the sixth floor of SFMOMA, and it is not a retrospective — however it is a first-of-its-kind show of Kusama's work at the museum or anywhere in Northern California.
"Yayoi Kusama’s captivating Infinity Mirror Rooms offer a tremendous opportunity for viewers to connect with the artwork and with each other,” says SFMOMA Director Christopher Bedford in a statement. "We are thrilled that Kusama’s new immersive artwork will have its West Coast premiere at SFMOMA, exciting and inspiring new audiences and longtime fans alike."
A press release states that "this presentation offers visitors the unique opportunity to see work by Kusama that epitomizes the artist’s diverse interests in light, space, sculpture and poetry."
The new Mirror Room piece, according to a release, "welcomes the viewer into a universe of multicolored light. At first, the exterior of this sculptural work blends into the gallery’s all-white surroundings, punctuated by an array of large transparent acrylic dots, including a quadrant — or quarter-dot — door at one corner for visitors to enter. In the interior, bright ambient light filters through the colored windows to create a luminous, kaleidoscopic pattern of overlapping circles."
Here's a preview:
Kusama herself put out a poetic statement about the piece, saying:
Enter the place of colors
Polka dots let in the sunlight of the earth
The heart is filled with the shining light of the sun
All of the people who enter seeking the joy of being alive
Let there be eternal harmony among all in the circles and cycles of living
Peace and endless love for all
Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama's career has spanned 70 years so far and she is one of the art world's most beloved living artists. Her easily recognizable work has for decades featured her signature polka dots.
Kusama's experiential/environmental work dates back to the 1960s, when she created her first mirrored work. But her first Mirror Room piece was in 2000, and she has since constructed over 20 of them. Her work has been featured all over the globe, including at the Tate Modern in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.
Tickets for the exhibition, which will be separate from regular admission, go on sale for the general public September 12, with a member pre-sale beginning September 5.