nyc. manhattan. summer of kusama.

this summer yayoi kusama’s art was all over manhattan and i was lucky enough to see it before it ended. the whitney museum of american art dedicated a retrospective to the 83-year-old japanese artist:

from their website: “Well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots and nets, as well as her intense, large-scale environments, Yayoi Kusama works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama came to the United States in 1957 and quickly found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. After achieving fame through groundbreaking exhibitions and art “happenings,” she returned to her native country in 1973 and is now one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists. This retrospective features works spanning Kusama’s career….”

yayoi kusama’s art in the foyer of the whitney and above the museum’s restaurant “untitled”

part of the exhibition was kusama’s installation “fireflies on the water” – i waited in line for about one hour to get one of timed tickets, which allow you to see the installation for one minute.

“… Yayoi Kusama’s depictions of seemingly endless space have been a central focus of her artistic career. Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water (2002)—with its carefully constructed environment of lights, mirrors, and water—is one of the outstanding examples of this kind of installation, which creates a space in which individual viewers are invited to transcend their sense of self…” more information


additional to the retrospectiveat the whitney, there were two other places  to see her art: “guidepost to a new space” at pier 45 and the “yellow trees” covering an construction site on west 14th street, both close to the whitney’s new location in the meatpacking district.

“…Kusama’s Yellow Trees building wrap transforms a tall building into a giant canvas. The scrim at 345 West 14th Street at 9th Avenue features a detail of the original painting Yellow Trees (1994), greatly enlarged so that its powerful sinuous patterns envelop the new twelve-story construction project….” source

“Visitors to Hudson River Park’s Pier 45 can enjoy Kusama’s vibrant multi-part installation, Guidepost to the New Space, through September 25. Bright red polka-dotted forms nestle in the grass like a herd of otherworldly abstractions, transforming the pier and its spectacular urban skyline….” source

futhermore yayoi kusama collaborated with luis vuitton this summer, selling a whole collection with her signature dots. accordingly louis vuitton shop windows were filled with her art. i spotted this one on lexington avenue:

“guidepost to the new space” is closing today; the retrospective will close on september 30th.

all information are from the whitney museum of american art’s website.

4 thoughts on “nyc. manhattan. summer of kusama.

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