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Infinity comes to Toronto! AGO’s Infinity Mirror Room opens to the public on May 25

#InfinityAGO Donors see it first; AGO Members see it free; Toronto sees it…forever

TORONTO – Infinity is possible! Last spring, hundreds of people lined up around the block day after day for the chance to secure tickets to the touring art exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. One year later, following an ambitious crowdfunding campaign, the AGO announces that Canada’s first permanent Infinity Mirror Room will open to the public on May 25.

“We know that the people of Toronto have a special bond with Yayoi Kusama, and I am excited to see that grow,” said Stephan Jost, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. “Support from individuals is critical to the AGO’s mission to bring people and art together. That this incredible artwork now belongs to the people of Ontario is testament to the power of people coming together. Together, we achieved infinity.”

Yayoi Kusama’s INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER is now a part of the AGO Collection and makes its Canadian debut this spring. It is the first contemporary artwork acquired in Canada through a major crowdfunding campaign. Launched last November, the #InfinityAGO campaign engaged with thousands of people to raise funds to bring the artwork to Toronto forever. From first-time donors to long-time AGO supporters, over 4,700 people supported #InfinityAGO. While gifts rangedfrom $1 to $25,000, the majority of donations were between $25 to $100.

Fewer than 20 Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Rooms are on view worldwide. First realized in 2017, LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER is larger than most, featuring mirrored orbs suspended from the ceiling and arranged on the floor. A mirrored column inside the room invites visitors to peer into a seemingly infinite field of silver spheres. Up to four visitors can enter the work at one time, and visitors can spend up to one minute inside.

“LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER is an exciting example of the unique visual language Kusama has been developing since the 1960s, stemming out of pop art and minimalism,” said Adelina Vlas, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Modern Art. “In this immersive space, Kusama casts us, the visitors, as the central characters, challenging us to think about how we see ourselves, while metallic spheres simultaneously reflect and distort our image.”

Beginning May 25, visitors wishing to see the Infinity Mirror Room will be directed to the Kusama Kiosk on Level 1 of the AGO, where they can reserve a same-day time slot. The artwork will be located inside Signy Eaton Gallery on Level 2, and access will be via Galleria Italia. It is included in General Admission.

Donors who contributed $25 and more (who did not waive their benefits) will have a chance to see LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER first, beginning April 5. AGO Members have the chance to see the artwork for free beginning April 23. For more information about how to see the artwork, visit www.infinityago.ca

ABOUT YAYOI KUSAMA
Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Nagano, in 1929, and currently lives and works in Tokyo. She studied traditional Nihonga (Japanese-style) painting in Kyoto and moved to New York City in 1958. There she was active in avant-garde circles during the formative years of pop art and minimalism, exhibiting her work alongside such artists as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Allan Kaprow – figures who have cited Kusama as influential to the development of assemblage, environmental art and performative practices. Kusama exhibited widely in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands in the mid-1960s, participating in exhibitions with artists associated with Nul, Zero and the New Tendency movements. In this context she began developing her interest in the optics and interactive elements of mirrors, electric lights, sound and kinetics. Her visibility grew in the late 1960s through her radical anti-war happenings, which put nudity and polka dots into the streets of New York. Due to ongoing struggles with her health, Kusama returned to Japan in 1973, where she has since resided. In recent years, she has achieved celebrity status and more importantly tremendous critical respect for her artistic contributions.

Installation sponsored by Shiseido.

 

ABOUT THE AGO
Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO’s collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art such as Untilled by Pierre Huyghe to European masterpieces such as Peter Paul Rubens’s The Massacre of The Innocents; from the vast collection by the Group of Seven to works by established and emerging Indigenous and Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium with deep holdings of works by artists such as Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus; and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art. Drawing on this collection—as well as collaborations with museums around the world—the AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. A major expansion designed by Frank Gehry in 2008 with lead support from the family of Ken Thomson makes the AGO a highly-photographed architectural landmark. Visit ago.ca to learn more.

ABOUT THE AGO 
Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO’s collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art such as Untilled by Pierre Huyghe to European masterpieces such as Peter Paul Rubens’s The Massacre of The Innocents; from the vast collection by the Group of Seven to works by established and emerging Indigenous and Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium with deep holdings of works by artists such as Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus; and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art. Drawing on this collection—as well as collaborations with museums around the world—the AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. A major expansion designed by Frank Gehry in 2008 with lead support from the family of Ken Thomson makes the AGO a highly-photographed architectural landmark. Visit ago.ca and follow @AGOToronto to learn more.

Nov. 29, 2018 – March 24, 2019:     

Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires

Feb. 16, 2019 – May 5, 2019:          

Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and More

May 4, 2019 – Aug. 5, 2019:           

Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory

June 20, 2019 – Aug. 25, 2019

Brian Jungen

Oct. 12 – Jan. 5, 2019:                   

Early Rubens

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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For hi-res images and other press inquiries, please contact:

Michael Watkins; Public Relations Officer, AGO
416-979-6660, ext. 504, michael.watkins@ago.ca

Andrea-Jo Wilson; Manager, Public Relations, AGO  
416-979-6660, ext. 403, andrea-jo.wilson@ago.ca

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