Friday, December 15, 2017

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at Seattle Art Museum

Immerse in the infinite.

Have you visited the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) recently? If, like me, you haven’t been in over a year, it’s time now. After hearing the buzz for Yayoi Kusami’s Infinity Mirror Rooms in the new exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, I finally made it out last week. This iconic exhibit has made Seattle its home for a limited time until September 10th, 2017. 

Infinity is a difficult concept to grasp, but when you step inside one of the Mirror Rooms, it’s easier to contemplate. This major exhibition examines the contemporary Japanese artist’s significant 65-year career and contextualizes the notion of infinite expansion and accumulation in her work, culminating in her visually stunning Infinity Mirror Rooms.

Yayoi Kusama is one of Japan’s most important contemporary artists. Experience her legendary career through multi-reflective installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, and ephemera. In 1965, Kusama began utilizing mirrors in her installations to create a participatory experience by casting the visitor as the subject of the work.  

“The positive and negative become one and consolidate my expression. And that is when I achieve obliteration.” -Yayoi Kusama

Visitors can immerse themselves in five of these kaleidoscopic environments where the viewer is endlessly reflected within fantastic landscapes—alongside examples from the artist’s beginnings: her mesmerizing and intimate drawings, her early Infinity Net paintings which grow on a canvas like cell formations, and her surreal sculptural objects covered with strange growth formations.

The 87-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, including paintings. Plan your visit here

Tickets:

  • Advance tickets are now sold out
  • Day-of tickets are available for $34.95 for adults
  • $24.95 for students (with ID) and teens (13-17) 

Pro-tips:

  • Plan to arrive 1-2 hours before opening and you should be able to get same-day tickets.
  • If you purchase an individual SAM membership for $79 (or dual $99), the exhibit is free and you can bypass the general ticket line to receive priority entry through the member line.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Yayoi Kusama was born in March 22, 1929, in Matsumoto, Japan. Growing up during World War II, she spent her formative years working at a parachute factory sewing military uniforms. Post-World War II, Kusama enrolled in the Nihonga program at the Kyoto Municipal Hiyoshigoaka Upper Secondary School. After graduating at the age of 20, she participated in regional and collaborative exhibitions in Matsumoto. In 1954, 25-year-old Kusama had herfirst big break witha soloexhibitionat the Shirokiya Gallery in Tokyo.In1955, Kusama established a relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe, who gave her advice on how to start a career in the U.S. Eventually this relationship led her to debut her first solo exhibition in the U.S. of paintings and watercolors at the now-defunct Zoë Dusanne Gallery in Seattle, Washington in 1957.

At the age of 29, Kusama moved to New York City. She became very involved in activist art in opposition to the Vietnam War. Her work grew exponentially, exploring spatial installations and the concept of infinity in art. Through the 60s, Kusama was extremely active, showcasing her work alongside notable contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Allan Kaprow.

She continued this work through 1972, when she began to develop an interest in literature. By 1973, Kusama moved back to Japan due to health reasons. She has lived and worked in Japan ever since, achieving popular and critical success, including becoming the first woman to represent Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1993

Photos by Natali Wiseman.

Infinity Mirrors Exhibit       |    Seattle Art Museum: 1300 1st Ave   |     (206) 654-3210 

 

About Jennifer Liu

Despite the rain, Jennifer loves Seattle and is a rare native. From the gorgeous summer weather to the drizzle the other 9 months, this may be her forever home. She graduated from the University of Washington and has a master's degree in counseling psychology. She loves to travel, volunteer, and host themed dinner parties. You can find her eating, hiking, hanging out with her awesome dog, or napping. Ice cream, burgers, and sushi are some of her favorite things.
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