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Yayoi Kusama Will Debut New Artworks at Major U.S. Exhibit in 2020

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The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will be the sole venue for a major 2020 exhibition featuring new and earlier works by renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore / Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will be the sole venue for a major 2020 exhibition featuring new and earlier works by renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

A career-spanning display of the Japanese artist’s installations, paintings, and sculptures will be on view exclusively at the New York Botanical Garden starting next spring—many on display for the first time in the United States.

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Yayoi Kusama’s famously Instagram-friendly exhibitions are known to draw crowds in nearly every city they visit, and New York City is no exception. In 2017, Kusama’s Infinity Nets and Festival of Life exhibitions at the David Zwirner gallery attracted a total of 75,000 people—some of whom waited in line for up to six hours just to see the artist’s installations. Kusama’s current exhibition, Every Day I Pray for Love, at the same New York gallery is expected to welcome up to 100,000 visitors during its month-long run (now on view through December 14, 2019). So when an exclusive exhibition of Kusama’s work opens at one of New York City’s most notable landmarks next year, it’s not hard to imagine that eager admirers of the artist will show up—en masse.

In spring 2020, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will become the sole venue for Kusama: Cosmic Nature, a sprawling exhibition of installations, paintings, and sketches from throughout Kusama’s seven-decade career. (The acclaimed artist was born Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929.) On view from May 9 through November 1, 2020, the exhibit will be spread across 250 acres at the massive Bronx institution, which has been listed as a National Historic Landmark since 1967.

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Several of Kusama’s signature works, such her massive polka-dotted flora sculptures and “mirrored environment” installations, will be on display across the garden as well as inside several historic buildings on the grounds. Alongside these popular contemporary works, the exhibit will showcase some of Kusama’s earlier creations, including botanical sketches that date back to her childhood in Japan (where her family owned a plant nursery). Many of these artworks will be on view for the first time in the United States. In addition, Kusama: Cosmic Nature will debut a still-undisclosed number of completely new works by the artist, among them a large-scale bronze sculpture titled the Dancing Pumpkin (2020), which viewers can approach from multiple angles, including from below, as well as an “immersive” greenhouse installation, according to the NYBG exhibit’s organizers.

Visitors to the Bronx’s historic botanical gardens will have the opportunity to marvel over some of Kusama’s most popular works set against the very type of natural backdrop that inspired her flower-filled aesthetic. That is, however, if they’re willing to wait in the exhibit’s entry lines, which might be as impressive as Kusama’s artwork in their enduring length.

Exhibition tickets go on sale to the general public on January 29, 2020. For NYBG members, presale begins January 15, 2020.

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