Yayoi Kusama opens at David Zwirner


Charge up your phone: Yayoi Kusama’s Instagram-ready “Festival of Life” exhibition is on display at David Zwirner.

The exhibit, which is free to the public, features 60 paintings from the artist’s My Eternal Soul series, three large polka-dotted flower sculptures, two infinity rooms and a sculptural installation titled “With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever,” which was created in 2011, but is on display in the U.S. for the first time.

“These works, [which are] extremely bright in palette and exuberant in imagery, and recently in Japan [were] put in very close proximity to each other, really butt up against each other,” Zwirner said. “When we saw the installation, we thought it would be wonderful to bring that to New York because it really creates a sort of hallucinatory field of vision and it underscores the obsessiveness and the intensity of which Kusama is working in her studio at this stage of her career.”

Yayoi Kusama, “With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever,” 2012. Installation View, Yayoi Kusama Eternity of Eternal Eternity, the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan, 2012. Image © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London; Yayoi Kusama Inc. 

The 88-year-old artist’s work has found an enthusiasm amongst younger art viewers. “Her work was collected and shown right from the get-go all over the world in major institutions, but I think it’s fair to say that in the last decade or so, as she started to make work that can not only just be seen, but also experienced, that her work really took a turn and energized a new audience for the visual arts,” Zwirner said.

Kusama, who was unable to attend the preview, passed along a “message of love and peace” to accompany the unveiling.

Kusama’s exhibitions are widely shared on Instagram, which prompted the gallery to introduce its hashtag for the occasion. “I’m sure it’s the beginning of many,” Zwirner said. “I think it’s fitting to say that you know Kusama would be the one to bring a first to this gallery.”

Kusama will be on display at Zwirner’s 19th Street location, 69th Street outpost and at the Judd Foundation in SoHo, through Dec. 9.

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