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yayoi kusama's infinity room the souls of millions of light years away

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 287.7 × 415.3 × 415.3 cm. Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. © Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

March 3 – May 27, 2018

All advance tickets are booked. The daily rush ticket line is now the only way to purchase tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.

On May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26 the exhibition will stay open to midnight. These tickets will be sold in the morning rush line at the AGO each day at 10:00 a.m., and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m. There is a two ticket per person limit. Tickets purchased in the rush line are for visiting the exhibition at a particular time on the same day.

To stay up-to-date when tickets are sold out, follow us on Twitter using #AGOrush.

Tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be resold.

#InfiniteKUSAMA

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets

The AGO is the only authorized seller of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets. Unauthorized duplication or re-sale of a ticket may prevent admittance.

All advance tickets have now been booked. During the run of the show, there will be a very limited number of same-day timed tickets released at the AGO each day at 10:00 am.

KEY INFO

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is unlike any exhibition the AGO has presented before. Make sure to read through these key points to ensure the best chance to experience this exhibition, which has sold out at all its previous venues.

Plan Your Visit

How can I get tickets?

All advance tickets have now been booked. The daily rush ticket line is now the only way to purchase tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.

During the run of the show, there will be a very limited number of same-day timed tickets released at the AGO each day at 10:00 am. There will be a two ticket per person limit.

Before the exhibition closes, the AGO is giving art fans even more chances to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. During the last two weekends of the exhibition (Thursday to Saturday), the Gallery will offer extended hours. On May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26 the exhibition will stay open to midnight.

On days when the exhibition will be open until midnight, the added tickets will be sold in the morning rush line and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m.

Pending availability, visitors will be able to purchase up to two tickets and Members will be able to receive up to two tickets for free. There will not be a separate line for AGO Members looking to receive same-day tickets. You cannot hold a spot in the line for another person. To stay up-to-date when tickets are sold out, follow us on Twitter @agotoronto using #AGOrush.

Please note that the same-day lines form outside on the sidewalk in front of the Gallery. Please dress for the weather.

How much do tickets cost?

Tickets are $30 for adults, $26.50 for seniors, and $21.50 for post-secondary students and youth ages 17 and under. Admission is free for AGO Members, but tickets are not guaranteed. Tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors include access to the AGO collection galleries. There are no refunds or exchanges of tickets for this exhibition.

Admission is free for AGO Members, but tickets for Members are not guaranteed. Tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors include access to the AGO collection galleries.

Do children require timed tickets?

All visitors require a timed ticket. Children 5 and under are admitted free but will still need a ticket. This includes carried children or children in carriers. Timed tickets help us account for the time necessary to enter the Gallery and go through the exhibition. Please keep in mind, the exhibition contains some mature content (nudity). Due to the nature of the exhibition, there must be one adult present for every two children attending the exhibition.

How many people can be in an Infinity Mirror Room at the same time?

The viewing platforms and areas are small. Two to three people may enter each room at a time. You may be asked by an attendant to enter with other visitors.

Should I check my bag before entering Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors?

Due to the unique nature of the exhibition we encourage you to check all bags. Please do so before heading to the exhibition entry in the Sculpture Atrium on Level 1 to avoid having to return to Coat Check and missing your entry time. You will be requested to leave any unchecked bags outside of the Infinity Mirror Rooms where AGO staff will be stationed. However, the AGO is not responsible for your belongings and encourages you to travel light when you come to the exhibition. The AGO provides complimentary coat check services for prohibited items.

#infinitekusama

 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Make the most of your visit – be informed and plan ahead with our top tips for a great visit. Please note there are additional details about the Infinity Mirror Rooms, For Members, Tours and Groups, and Gallery Policies below.

Kusama Ticketing Info

Ticket Information

What is a rush line?

As all advance tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors have been booked, the daily rush line is the only way to purchase tickets. The line forms outside on the sidewalk in front of the Gallery and the box office begins issuing tickets at 10:00 am, first-come-first-served. Tickets purchased in the rush line are for visiting the exhibition at a particular time on the same day. For example, depending on your place in line, you may be able to purchase a ticket for entry into the exhibition at 7:15 pm on the same day. If there is a large gap between purchasing the ticket and your entry time, we encourage you to visit the AGO Collection, grab a bite at AGO Bistro or visit shopAGO.

Pending availability, visitors will be able to purchase up to two tickets and Members will be able to receive up to two tickets for free. There will not be a separate line for AGO Members looking to receive same-day tickets. You cannot hold a spot in the line for another person. To stay up-to-date when tickets are sold out, follow us on Twitter @agotoronto using #AGOrush. Remember to dress for the weather.

How do I change the time on my ticket?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate request for time or date changes.

Are tickets transferable?

Tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be re-sold. Unauthorized duplication or sale of a ticket may prevent admittance.

Can I buy tickets outside of the AGO?

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is an exhibition with unprecedented demand. More than 150,000 tickets have been booked so far. It’s important to know that the AGO is the only authorized seller of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets. Unauthorized duplication or re-sale of a ticket may prevent admittance. Visitors may be asked to provide photo ID at entry. Visitors who purchase resale tickets risk being disappointed and being denied admittance to the exhibition.

If you have any questions about the validity of any online ticket offers, please call Visitor Services at 416-979-6648.

I usually come to the AGO for free through the Teachers Access Program, MAP Library Pass Program, or the Neighbourhood Access Program and have an option of paying an upgrade fee for the specially ticketed exhibition. Will I be able to do that for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors?

Yes, there will be an upgrade ticket of $15. However, these are not available for advance purchase and there will be a very limited number of same-day tickets available.

You can still visit our collection galleries for free during this exhibition. Currently, you can see two works by Kusama in Irina Moore Gallery West on Level 2. Town (1999) and Butterfly (1985) are colourful screen prints and both feature Kusama's signature polka dot motif. We were pleased to show Kusama's work, Narcissus Garden on the second floor from February 24 until April 29, 2018.

Visiting the Exhibition

What are the hours for this exhibition?  

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, the AGO will be open from 10:30 am to 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday, and on Sunday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. Please note although this exhibition is open until 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

Before the exhibition closes, the AGO is giving art fans even more chances to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. During the last two weekends of the exhibition (Thursday to Saturday), the Gallery will offer extended hours. On May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26 the exhibition will stay open to midnight.

On days when the exhibition will be open until midnight, the added tickets will be sold in the morning rush line and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m.

Please note although this exhibition is open until midnight on May 17-19 and May 24-26, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Thursday, at 9 pm on Friday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

Is this exhibition family friendly?

This exhibition is open to all ages; however here are some things to know before visiting:

  • All visitors need a ticket to the exhibition. Children under 5 are free, but still require a ticket.
  • Due to the nature of the exhibition, there must be one adult present for every two children.
  • Visitors should plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition with average estimated wait times of 20 minutes per room
  • Seating/resting spaces are limited within the exhibition
  • Strollers are allowed into the exhibition; however due to limited space, strollers are not permitted in the Infinity Mirror Rooms. You will be able to park your stroller outside of the room before you enter
  • This exhibition spreads across two floors. Visitors will start on the 5th floor and then the exhibition continues on the 4th floor. You will be able to take the stairs or the elevator between floors.
  • Please keep in mind that the exhibition contains some mature content (nudity)

When should I arrive?

Be early and don’t miss your ticketed time. Plan to enter the line in the Sculpture Atrium on Level 1, 10 minutes before the time on your ticket. Feel free to ask an AGO staff member about any wait times or delays. You will be taking an elevator to the 5th floor, one of two floors of the exhibition.

If you have a long wait, tour the rest of the Gallery, visit the shopAGO, enjoy coffee and snacks at caféAGO or enjoy a delicious meal at AGO Bistro until 10 minutes before your entry time. You can find our full hours of operations on the Plan Your Visit section of our website.

During the last two weekends of the exhibition, the exhibition will stay open until midnight on May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25 and 26. On these days, the added tickets will be sold in the morning rush line and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m.

Please note although this exhibition is open until midnight on May 17-19 and May 24-26, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Thursday, at 9 pm on Friday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

Can I come earlier than my reserved time?

You may arrive early and enjoy the AGO Collection galleries. However, arriving early will not speed up your entry into the exhibition. You will be admitted into the exhibition promptly at the time indicated on your ticket.

Please note although this exhibition is open until 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

During the last two weekends of the exhibition, the exhibition will stay open until midnight on May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26.Please note although this exhibition is open until midnight on May 17-19 and May 24-26, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Thursday, 9 pm on Friday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

Is my ticket valid all day? Am I able to leave and return?

There is no re-entry to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors so be sure to check your bags and eat before your entry time to enjoy your visit to the fullest. Bags, purses, strollers or other large items will not be allowed in the Infinity Mirror Rooms, so please bring only what you need. You will be able to park your stroller outside of an Infinity Mirror Room before you enter.

Your ticket allows all-day access to the AGO collection galleries. 

Please note although this exhibition is open until 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

During the last two weekends of the exhibition, the exhibition will stay open until midnight on May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26.

Please note although this exhibition is open until midnight on May 17-19 and May 24-26, AGO collection galleries close at 5 pm on Thursday, 9 pm on Friday and 5:30 pm on Saturday.

What if I am late?

If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the time on your ticket, we cannot guarantee entry. We will make every attempt to admit you at the next available times lot, but late entry is not guaranteed.

What if I miss my ticketed entry time?

Unfortunately, tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the time on your ticket we will attempt to admit you at the next available time slot that day, but entry is not guaranteed.

Is there a restroom in the exhibition?

Yes. This exhibition spans two floors. Visitors will start on the 5th floor and then the exhibition continues on the 4th floor. There is a restroom available in the exhibition on the 5th floor but not on the 4th.

How will I get inside the exhibition?

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors will be located on the 4th and 5th floors of the AGO. You will need to use an elevator to access the exhibition. If you cannot take an elevator, please contact us before your scheduled visit.  

The Exhibition Experience

What is this exhibition about?

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors focuses on the celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's immersive, multi-reflective infinity mirror rooms.

The Exhibition provides visitors with the opportunity to experience six of Kusama's most iconic kaleidoscopic environments, alongside large-scales, whimsical installations of over 60 key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present. It also marks the North American debut of numerous new works by the 88-year-old artist, who is still actively creating in her Tokyo studio. Please note there are intermittent bright, flashing lights in The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away and in Love Forever.

What are the Infinity Mirror Rooms?

The exhibition includes six Infinity Mirror Rooms: five you enter and one you peek in to. The rooms are designed by the artist to be brief immersive experiences. Please note there are intermittent bright, flashing lights in The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away and in Love Forever.

How long are lines to enter the Infinity Mirror Rooms? How long can I spend in the room?

Visitors will have a limit of 20 to 30 seconds in each room. Wait times for each room estimated at 20 minutes. Plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition. The AGO offers front-of-line access to our visitors with disabilities; please contact us for details.

How many people can be in an Infinity Mirror Room at the same time?

The viewing platforms and areas are small. Two to three people may enter each room at a time. You may be asked by an attendant to enter with other visitors.

Is there re-entry into the exhibition?

No, re-entry is not allowed.

Can I enter an Infinity Mirror Room more than once?

In order to accommodate as many visitors as possible, you may only enter each Infinity Mirror Room once.

Is there an audio guide?

No. It was Kusama's vision for visitors to enter the Infinity Mirror Rooms and to immerse themselves in the art. The experiential nature of the Rooms do not require audio.

What accommodations do you have in place for visitors with disabilities? 

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is an accessible exhibition, however, due to the nature of some of the artwork, some areas may not be.

If you are visiting with a wheelchair, only non-motorized standard wheelchairs can enter and exit the Infinity Mirror Rooms one at a time. However, due to size restrictions, wheelchairs cannot turn around once inside the rooms and must back out to exit. While the Infinity Mirror Rooms have varying sizes, the narrowest entry point is 77cm (30 inches) wide.

The AGO offers front-of-line access to our visitors with disabilities; please contact us for details.

For AGO Members

I’m an AGO Member. Do I need a timed ticket to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors? How do I get one?

Yes, everyone requires a timed ticket to enter the exhibition, including AGO Members.

We were pleased to offer Members four exclusive opportunities to book a limited number of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets. We will continue to evaluate capacity on an ongoing basis and if we are able to release more tickets, we will.

During the run of the show, there will be a limited number of same-day timed tickets released on-site every day at 10:00 am. There will be a two ticket per person limit.

Before the exhibition closes, the AGO is giving art fans even more chances to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. During the last two weekends of the exhibition (Thursday to Saturday), the Gallery will offer extended hours. On May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26 the exhibition will stay open to midnight. On days when the exhibition will be open until midnight, the added tickets will be sold in the morning rush line and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m.

Pending availability, visitors will be able to purchase up to two tickets and Members will be able to receive up to two tickets for free. There will not be a separate line for AGO Members looking to receive same-day tickets. You cannot hold a spot in the line for another person. To stay up-to-date when tickets are sold out, follow us on Twitter @agotoronto using #AGOrush.

Do I need an active membership in order for me to book tickets?

Yes, please ensure that your membership account is active for the duration of the exhibition (March 3 - May 27, 2018).

How do I login into my membership account online? 

To login as a Member on our website, use your membership number located on the back of your membership card in the ID field and your password.

If you don't know your password, click "Forgot Password". An email will be sent to your registered email address with your login information.

I've always been able to get AGO tickets guaranteed with my Member status. Is this still the case?

Due to a very limited gallery capacity and popular demand, we expect this exhibition to sell out quickly. We are pleased to have offered Members four exclusive opportunities to book a limited number of free tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.

During the run of the show, there will be a limited number of same-day timed tickets released at the AGO each day at 10:00 a.m. There will be a two ticket per person limit.

Before the exhibition closes, the AGO is giving art fans even more chances to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. During the last two weekends of the exhibition (Thursday to Saturday), the Gallery will offer extended hours. On May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26 the exhibition will stay open to midnight.

On days when the exhibition will be open until midnight, the added tickets will be sold in the morning rush line and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m.

Pending availability, visitors will be able to purchase up to two tickets and Members will be able to receive up to two tickets for free. There will not be a separate line for AGO Members looking to receive same-day tickets. You cannot hold a spot in the line for another person. To stay up-to-date when tickets are sold out, follow us on Twitter @agotoronto using #AGOrush.

Are there special viewing opportunities for Members?

We are pleased to have provided AGO Members with four special opportunities to enjoy the exhibition before the general public. Members’ Preview Days were held on Wednesday, February 28; Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2, 2018

Please note: Bookings on Members' Preview Days count towards your free Member ticket allotment.

What if I was unable to get tickets during the Member booking windows?  

We were pleased to offer Members four exclusive opportunities to book a limited number of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets. We will continue to evaluate capacity on an ongoing basis and if we are able to release more tickets, we will.

During the run of the show, there will be a very limited number of same-day timed tickets released on-site at 10:00 am. There will be a two ticket per person limit. 

Before the exhibition closes, the AGO is giving art fans even more chances to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. During the last two weekends of the exhibition (Thursday to Saturday), the Gallery will offer extended hours. On May 17, 18, 19 and May 24, 25, and 26 the exhibition will stay open to midnight.

On days when the exhibition will be open until midnight, the added tickets will be sold in the morning rush line and the last entry to the exhibition will be at 10 p.m.

Pending availability, visitors will be able to purchase up to two tickets and Members will be able to receive up to two tickets for free. There will not be a separate line for AGO Members looking to receive same-day tickets. You cannot hold a spot in the line for another person. To stay up-to-date when tickets are sold out, follow us on Twitter @agotoronto using #AGOrush.

I am not an AGO Member, but a Member of the Museum Alliance Reciprocal Program or the Art Museum Reciprocal Network. Do I get free access to the exhibition? 

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is not included in the reciprocal program. There will be the option of purchasing an upgrade ticket of $15. However, these are not available for purchase in advance and there will be a very limited number of same-day tickets. We highly recommend that you purchase full price tickets in advance.

Gallery Policies

Can I take photos?

Non-flash photography is allowed inside the exhibition, except in Infinity Mirrored Room — All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. Video recording and tripods/selfie sticks are prohibited. Please be very careful when taking photos in the Infinity Mirror Rooms as many of the artworks are fragile. We encourage you to share your photos and tag them with #InfiniteKusama.

Can I speak on my cell phone?

Of course, however please turn your phone to the vibrate setting and be respectful of other visitors when using your cell phone.

The Infinity Mirror Rooms are immersive, so can I touch them?

Although you can peek or step into the Infinity Mirror Rooms, please do not touch the artwork. Keep a safe distance of 1 m (39 in.) between you and the works of art.

Can I bring a stroller into the exhibition?

Strollers are allowed into the exhibition, however strollers are not permitted into the Infinity Mirror Rooms.

Should I check my bag before entering Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors?

Due to the unique nature of the exhibition we encourage you to check all bags. Please do so before heading to the exhibition entry in the Sculpture Atrium on Level 1 to avoid having to return to Coat Check and missing your entry time. You will be requested to leave any unchecked bags outside of the Infinity Mirror Rooms where AGO staff will be stationed. However, the AGO is not responsible for your belongings and encourages you to travel light when you come to the exhibition. The AGO provides complimentary coat check services for prohibited items. The following items must be checked prior to entering the galleries:

  • Bags or other items larger than 45 x 40 x 15 cm (18 x 16 x 6 in.)
  • Backpacks or other items worn on the back (of any size)
  • Shopping bags
  • Briefcases
  • Umbrellas of any size
  • Wet items including wet coats

For more information, see our gallery guidelines.

Tours, Groups and Events

Do you offer public tours of the exhibition?

There will be no public tours of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors due to the unique and immersive nature of the gallery installation.

Can I book my private event with a visit to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors? 

Yes! However, due to the exhibition's popularity there is limited availability to host private events. Contact our Event Sales Coordinators today at events@ago.net to find out how you can host your event.  

Do you offer discounted group visits of the exhibition?

Due to the high demand nature of the exhibition, we are not able to accommodate group visits in Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. 

Are you offering Access to Art group visits of the exhibition? 

Due to the unique nature of the exhibition and size restrictions in each room, we will be unable to offer group tour of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. 

Groups interested in the Access to Art programming who would like to experience Kusama’s work are recommended to visit Irina Moore Gallery West on Level 2, where two Kusama works are on view. Town (1999) and Butterfly (1985) are colourful screen prints and both feature Kusama’s signature polka dot motif.

We were pleased to show Kusama’s work, Narcissus Garden from February 24 until April 29, 2018. This installation was included in General Admission.

The AGO offers front-of-the-line access to our visitors with disabilities. Support Persons will be able to enter the exhibition with their visitor and do not require a ticket in advance. Please contact us for details.


 

YAYOI KUSAMA

kusama with artworks

Yayoi Kusama with recent works in Tokyo, 2016. Courtesy of the artist © Yayoi Kusama, Photo by Tomoaki Makino

Guided by her unique vision and unparalleled creativity, critically acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama has been breaking new ground for more than six decades. In 1993, she became the first woman to have a solo presentation at the Venice Biennale’s Japanese Pavilion, and in 2016, Time magazine named her one of the world’s most influential people.

Born in 1929, Kusama grew up near her family’s plant nursery in Matsumoto, Japan. At nineteen, following World War II, she went to Kyoto to study the traditional Japanese style of painting known as Nihonga. During this time, she began experimenting with abstraction, but it was not until she arrived in the United States, in 1957, that her career took off. Living in New York from 1958 to 1973, Kusama moved in avant-garde circles with such figures as Andy Warhol and Allan Kaprow while honing her signature dot and net motifs, developing soft sculpture, creating installation-based works, and staging Happenings (performance-based events). She first used the mirror as a multi-reflective device in Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field, 1965, transforming the intense repetition that marked some of her earlier works into an immersive experience. Kusama returned to Japan in 1973 but has continued to develop her mirrored installations, and over the years, she has attained cult status, not only as an artist, but as a novelist.


 

About the Exhibition

kusama's pumpkin infinity room

Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirror, plastic, black glass, LED. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

Experience infinity: From her immersive infinity rooms to mesmerizing paintings and playful sculptures, Yayoi Kusama welcomes you to participate in her extraordinary and innovative explorations of time and space.

Infinity may be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is easy to contemplate when you step inside one of artist Yayoi Kusama’s iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Rich with key works from the contemporary Japanese artist’s significant 65-year career, this major exhibition also shows the evolution of her immersive, multi-reflective installations, in which she invites you to share in her unique vision.

Immerse yourself in six of these kaleidoscopic environments where you will be endlessly reflected within fantastic landscapes. You’ll also see Kusama’s mesmerizing and intimate drawings, her early Infinity Net paintings in which nets organically expand along the surface of a canvas like cell formations, and her surreal sculptural objects. These key works join more than 90 works on view, including large and vibrant paintings, sculptures, works on paper, as well as rare archival materials.

The 88-year-old artist continues to work at a brisk pace in her Tokyo studio. The exhibition features the North American debut of numerous new works. Her most recent painting series, My Eternal Soul (2009–present), may be the greatest surprise. Exuberant in colour and paired with sculptures that bear titles such as My Adolescence in Bloom, they mark a striking progression in the use of Kusama’s signature symbol of the polka dot. Also on view in North America for the first time is the recently realized Infinity Mirror Room, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016 , a field of yellow, dotted pumpkins spreading into infinity.

In addition to the paintings, sculptures, drawings and environments, viewers will encounter posters, letters, cards, and invitations that relate to Kusama’s early exhibitions and events—including her first solo show, which took place in Seattle—a slideshow of Kusama’s performances as well as an interview with the artist filmed on the occasion of this exhibition.


About the Art

Infinity Mirror Rooms

In 1965, Kusama began using mirrors to transcend the physical limitations of her own practice and achieve the repetition that is crucial to her Infinite Net paintings and Accumulation sculptures. Sculptural, architectural, and performative, these installations blur the lines between artistic disciplines and create an engaged experience as the visitor completes the artwork.

installation of kusama's "love forever"

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Love Forever, 1966/1994, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirrors, metal, and lightbulbs. Photo by Cathy Carver

kusama love forever slide

Love Forever

Hexagonal in shape and mirrored on all sides, Love Forever features two peepholes that invite you to peer in and see both yourself and another viewer repeated into infinity. At the time Kusama created this Infinity Mirror Room, she was experimenting with new technology and viewed the work as a “machine for animation.” During the 1966 exhibition opening of Kusama’s Peep Show, which featured this work, Kusama distributed buttons with her message “Love Forever” printed on them. For the artist, this concept of Love Forever stood for civil rights, sexual liberation and the antiwar movement, brought to the cultural mainstream by activist groups of the 1960s.

yayoi kusama's infinity room the souls of millions of light years away

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 287.7 × 415.3 × 415.3 cm. Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. © Yayoi Kusama

kusama souls of millions slide

The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away

Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away is like an out-of-body experience as you enter a a repetitive illusion created with lights and mirrors. Like stars in the galaxy, hundreds of LED lights hang and flicker in a rhythmic pattern that seems to suspend both space and time. You become part of the work as your body activates the environment and simultaneously vanishes into the infinite space.

installation shot of kusama's All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins

Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirror, plastic, black glass, LED. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

kusama pumpkin slide

All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins

The pumpkin motif first appeared in some of Kusama’s drawings from the late 1940s and has repeatedly shown up in her paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations. Her initial pumpkin mirrored room was staged in 1991 and was later displayed at the 1993 Venice Biennale. Stepping into Infinity Mirrored Room—All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, you are transported to a space that recalls fairytales and fantasy.

yayoi kusama's infinity room phalli's field

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field, 1965. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017. Sewn stuffed cotton fabric, board, and mirrors. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carve

kusama phalli's field slide

Phalli's Field

Kusama spent much of her time between 1962 and 1964 sewing thousands of stuffed fabric tubers and grafting them to furniture and found objects to create her Accumulation sculptures. She exhibited the works together in an attempt to create hallucinatory scenes of phallic surfaces, but making them was physically and mentally taxing. In a breakthrough moment, she started to use mirrors to achieve similar repetition. The reflective surfaces allowed her vision to transcend the physical limitations of her own practice. The mirrors also created a participatory experience by making viewers part of the work.

installation of kusama's work "aftermath of the obliteration of the universe"

Yayoi Kusama, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, 2009, Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic, LED, black glass, and aluminum. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York. © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

kusama aftermath slide

Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity

In Infinity Mirrored Room—Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity you enter into a world of flickering golden lanterns, immersing yourself in a shimmering pattern of light that contrasts with the seemingly endless void of the mirrored black space. For Kusama, this work is a reflection on the experience of death and the potential of the afterlife. The imagery in this work recalls the Japanese tradition of toro nagashi, a ceremony in which paper lanterns float down a river to guide ancestral spirits back to their resting places on the final night of the summer Obon Festival. The ceremony often commemorates the victims of the atomic bombs. Mesmerizing and intimate, Kusama’s poetic installation underscores the impermanence of life and the certitude of death.

kusama's "dot's obsession" installation

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession – Love Transformed Into Dots, 2007, Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York., © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

kusama dots obsession slide

Dots Obsession — Love Transformed into Dots

Hanging from the ceiling and occupying the floor, large polka dotted balloons surround your view. As you navigate through the space, you can enter a mirrored room inside one of the balloons and peer inside another. The work engages you with its contrasting scales: at one moment you are enveloped by a massive balloon and in another, you squint through a small peephole to see a mirrored infinity. Kusama provides the soundtrack for your experience, as she hauntingly sings one of her poems on a nearby video screen.

installation of kusama's obliteration room

Yayoi Kusama,The Obliteration Room, 2002 to present. Furniture, white paint, and dot stickers. Dimensions variable. Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery. Commissioned Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph: QAGOMA Photography

kusama obliteration room slide

The Obliteration Room

Kusama’s The Obliteration Room invites you to complete the work. The room begins as a pure white room of furniture and everyday objects. All visitors are given polka dot stickers and invited to place them wherever they want, as the space gradually transforms during the run of the exhibition. Kusama’s concept of obliteration finds new expression as the pristine white space is gradually covered in an accumulation of brightly coloured dots allowing each visitor to partake on a journey to infinity one polka dot at a time.

 
kusama's painting "searching for love"

Yayoi Kusama, Searching for Love, 2013. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins. Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore; Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama.

Paintings

“...producing the unique art that came from within myself was the most important thing I could do to build my life as an artist.”

Kusama’s paintings embody the motifs echoed often throughout her work, giving evidence to the singular vision that has driven her over the course of her long career. Colours and patterns pulsate within the bordered spaces of her canvases. She was determined to incite experiences of immersion and boundlessness even in two dimensions.

 

Works on Paper

“I thought of Seattle as only the first step in my reckless journey.”

Kusama’s works on paper first garnered attention in the United States in 1957, when she was the subject of a solo exhibition at Zoë Dusanne Gallery in Seattle. These early drawings are intimate, organic microcosms that the artist later expanded on in her Infinity Mirror Rooms.

kusama's painting "flower"

Yayoi Kusama, Flower, 1975. Collage with pastel, ink, fabric on paper. 39.8 x 54.3 cm Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York. © Yayoi Kusama

 
installation of kusama's work "Life"

Yayoi Kusama, Life (Repetitive Vision), 1998. Installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017 © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

Sculptures

“I make them and make them and then keep on making them, until I bury myself in the process. I call this ‘obliteration’.”

Kusama began making the Accumulations or soft sculptures in the early 1960s. They serve as important precursors to her Infinity Mirror Rooms. These works point to a crucial development that eventually transformed her process-based production from physical repetition to photographic reproduction to instantaneous reflection.


 

Supplementary Installation: Narcissus Garden

kusama's narcissus garden

Yayoi Kusama, Narcissus Garden, installation view at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden 2016 ©YAYOI KUSAMA, courtesy YAYOI KUSAMA Inc.

Don’t miss Kusama’s supplementary installation Narcissus Garden, featuring 1,300 stainless-steel mirror balls spread throughout our Signy-Eaton Gallery.

Created in 1966, the first incarnation of Narcissus Garden appeared in the gardens outside of that year’s Venice Biennale. As one of her first pieces of performance art, Kusama planted a sign reading “Your Narcissism for Sale” and sold each mirror ball to visitors for two dollars. On view from February 24 to April 29, 2018. Free with admission.

 



 

Film: Kusama's Self-Obliteration

Yayoi Kusama (born 1929, Matsumoto, Japan), Kusama’s Self-Obliteration, 1967
16mm film transferred to DVD (colour, sound, 22 mins. 30 secs.).
Cinematography by Jud Yalkut. Collection of the artist.

Kusama made this 16mm film with American experimental filmmaker Jud Yalkut (1938­–2013). In the late 1960s, America was undergoing a massive cultural shift, with the civil rights movement and Vietnam War protests leading to the rise of hippie culture. Kusama embraced the radical peace-and-love sensibilities of the hippies and was inspired to create a series of similarly themed performance works, or Happenings. The film begins in rural upstate New York, with Kusama as its star, and features footage from Happenings in which she paints models with polka dots. It was so popular in art-house film circles that Kusama organized regular screenings and set up a company to sell prints from the film by mail order.

 


 

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors Catalogue

Companion publication to the AGO 2018 exhibition. World-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has worked in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, performance art, and installation. Kusama's iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms, which originated with Phalli's Field in 1965, situate viewers in kaleidoscopic spaces filled with multicolored lights or whimsical forms. These mirror-lined installations reflect endlessly, distorting rooms to project the illusion of infinite space. Over the years, the works have come to symbolize different modalities within the various contexts they have inhabited, from Kusama's self-obliteration in the Vietnam War era to her more harmonious aspirations in the present. By examining her early unsettling installations alongside her more recent ethereal atmospheres, this volume aims to historicize the body of work amidst the resurgence of experiential practices within the global landscape of contemporary art. Generously illustrated, this publication invites readers to examine the series impact over the course of the artist's career. Accompanying essays, an interview with the artist, and a scholarly chronology round out the book.

Buy the Catalogue


 

kusama past events

PAST EVENTS

Shopping Events
Book Signing with Illustrator Ellen Weinstein
Sunday, April 29, 2–4 pm

Join us in shopAGO for an exclusive book signing of Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity, with illustrator Ellen Weinstein.

Ellen Weinstein was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Pratt Institute and New York’s High School of Art and Design. She has received awards from American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual, Society of Publication Designers, Society for News Designs and the Art Directors Club of New…

Screenings
Kusama: Infinity
April 18, 6pm & 8:30pm

Dir. Heather Lenz, 1h 20 min., 2018

Join us for a special preview screening of Kusama: Infinity before it hits theatres in May.
Director Heather Lenz explores artist Yayoi Kusama’s journey from a conservative upbringing in Japan to her brush with fame in America during the 1960s (where she rivalled Andy Warhol for press attention) and concludes with the international fame she has finally achieved within the art world. 

Guided by her unique vision and unparalleled creativity, critically acclaimed artist Yayoi…

Family Events
Family Sundays, April: Polka Dot Fun
Sundays April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2018, 1-4 pm

Inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition Infinity Mirrors; make polka dot accessories throughout the month. On April 29, the last Family Sunday of the year, join us for a pop up dance party with DJ V∆NESS∆!

View other Family Sundays events.

Popular
Food & Drink
Curated Dinner Series – Kusama Edition #1
Thursday, March 29, 6:30 pm  

Inspired by Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, ease into the flavours of Japan with Godspeed Brewery and hand crafted cocktails from the Kusama themed cocktail menu.
Wine pairings to match the tasting menu.

View the menu

Popular
Screenings
Yayoi Kusama: I Adore Myself
Fridays through May 11, 6 pm and 8:30 pm

Dir. Takako Matsumoto, 1 h 42 min, 2008 Japanese with English subtitles

Who is Yayoi Kusama? This rarely shown candid observational documentary captures Yayoi Kusama’s daily activities and creative process over a period of several months in 2006 – 2007 as she diligently works to complete a series of 50 large monochrome drawings. Kusama is seen in her studio, meeting with visiting curators, and reflecting on her life and success. 

Born in 1929, Yayoi Kusama grew up near her family’s plant nursery in Matsumoto,…

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Talks
Yayoi Kusama Curator’s Talk with Mika Yoshitake
Wednesday February 28, 2018

Join Mika Yoshitake, curator of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, for an insightful talk about Kusama’s life and work.

Mika Yoshitake was a Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., where she has curated Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (2017), Shana Lutker: Le ‘NEW’ Monocle, Chapters 1-3 (2015-16), Le Onde:Waves of Italian Influence…

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