KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature an exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden.

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After being postponed due to the pandemic, KUSAMA: Cosmic nature – an exclusive exhibition dedicated to the works of an internationally renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama – finally open on April 10 at New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The show includes a multitude of installations, all to be discovered both in the garden and in and around the Enid A. Haupt conservatory and the LuEsther T. Mertz library building.
The NYBG is an incredibly special place to present the Japanese artist, known for his intensely colorful and often polka-dot artwork, as he represents the world that has delighted Yayoi Kusama since his childhood in Matsumoto, Japan, spent exploring greenhouses and the fields of his family’s seed nursery. A fascination that the curators underlined by sprinkling the works of the exhibition with seasonal horticultural plants. This is how KUSAMA: Cosmic nature manages to bring to light the power of nature, which has such a daring presence in the artist’s practice and portfolio. Indeed, guest curator Mika Yoshitake observed: “Nature is not only a central source of inspiration, but is also an integral part of the visceral effects of Kusama’s artistic language in which organic growth and proliferation of life is ever present.”

A vast majority outdoor facilities are featured in this exhibit, including monumental sculptures that transform the 250 acres that make up the New York Botanical Garden: the world’s most comprehensive botanical garden, founded in 1891 and an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Bronx in New York City.
For those exploring the exhibit, it won’t be surprising to find Kusama’s organic polka dot shapes and hypnotic paintings of plants and flowers, but these are also complemented by new pieces created especially for the occasion: The obsession with flowers (2017/2021), Japanese artist first stamping greenhouse in the USA. These are pieces that Yayoi Kusama has been making for decades, and certainly some of his most entertaining and interactive designs, all based on a simple concept. For the uninitiated, here’s how they work: each visitor who enters the space is given a page of stickers, which they are then free to place wherever they want in the room, helping to give to the whole. of the work a dynamic aspect. Dynamic because throughout its journey, the installation space is continuously transformed by the stickers themselves.
Other exclusive works featured include: Dancing pumpkin (2020), a monumental sculpture presented on the lawn of the Haupt Conservatory; I want to fly in the universe (2020), a 13-foot-tall biomorphic form on display at the Visitor Center; Infinity Mirrored Room – Illusion inside the heart (2020), an outdoor installation reflecting its environment.
For an in-depth look at Yayoi Kusama’s work, guests can tour the library building to view a sketchbook dated 1945, revealing the artist’s keen eye for detail, even at the age of 16. Some 50 drawings capture the flowering cycle of tree peonies: a work that is an early product of the artist’s long-standing connection with the natural world that inspired her throughout her future career. But that’s not all: this section also features examples of his botanical drawings, works on paper, biomorphic collages, assembly boxes, sculptures and paintings on canvas depicting flora and its limitless variety of patterns. In short, in this exhibition that covers everything from monumental polka dot pumpkin sculptures to abstract paintings that look like cells enlarged thousands of times, Kusama’s works suggest the patterns that can be seen all around us.
The exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden, accompanied by an extensive program of complementary events, is open until October 31, 2021, with a visit made possible by the anti-COVID-19 protocol of the organizers, that is, that is, with advanced, timed, limited capacity tickets. .

Christiane Bürklein

Exhibition “KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature”
from April 10 to October 31, 2021
New York Botanical Garden, New York, United States
Images: see captions.
1) Dancing Pumpkin (2020), The New York Botanical Garden, 2021. Urethane paint on bronze. 196 7/8 x 116 7/8 x 117 ¼ in. (500 x 296.9 x 297.8 cm). Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Robert Benson Photography

2) KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature, New York Botanical Garden. 2021- Robert Benson Photography

3) Life (2015). Plastic reinforced with fiberglass, tiles and resin. Variable installation dimensions. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Photography Robert Benson

4) Ascent of peas on trees (2002/2021). Variable installation dimensions. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Robert Benson Photography

5) My Soul Blooms Forever (2019), The New York Botanical Garden, 2021. Urethane paint on stainless steel. Variable installation dimensions. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.

6) I Want to Fly to the Universe (2020), The New York Botanical Garden, 2021. Urethane paint on aluminum. 157 3/8 x 169 3/8 x 140 1/8 in (400 x 430 x 356 cm). Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Photography Robert Benson

7) Narcissus Garden (1966/2021). Variable installation dimensions. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. Robert Benson Photography

8) Aerial view of the New York Botanical Garden at night. Photography Robert Benson

More information: https://www.nybg.org/event/kusama/


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