In 2021 the Gropius Bau in Berlin dedicates a major retrospective to the artist Yayoi Kusama.
Yayoi Kusama, Portrait © YAYOI KUSAMACourtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro & David Zwirner
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The exhibition, the first ever organized in Germany, will retrace 70 years of the famous Japanese artist’s career, reconstructing her exhibitions and the most famous “infinity mirror rooms”.
The great retrospective – the first ever organized in Germany – which will open on March 19, 2021 at the Gropius Bau in Berlin is dedicated to one of the most famous artists in the world.Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective is the title of the exhibition that will retrace 70 years of career of the artist (Matsumoto, 1929), highlighting in particular the influence his art has had in Europe.
The exhibition will reconstruct eight exhibitions by Kusama held from the years 1952 to 1983, thus illustrating how the Japanese artist’s work has developed over the decades.The retrospective begins with the exhibitions set up in his hometown, Matsumoto, Yayoi Kusama Solo Exhibition and Yayoi Kusama Recent Works (1952), in which the immersive nature of his subsequent research already emerged. In 1963 it will then be the turn of Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show, Kusama’s first environmental installation in New York, which included a wooden rowboat covered with phallus-shaped objects made of white fabric.
Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field, 1965© YAYOI KUSAMA, courtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro
This motif then reappeared in the 1964 Driving Image Show in New York where, in 1965, he created his first Infinity Mirror Room, or the type of installation that made the artist famous all over the world. It is a series of sprawling inflatable sculptures, brightly colored and covered with polka dots (a typical Kusama sign), enclosed in a room full of mirrors. The continuous play of reflections thus creates the illusion of an infinite space, a fantastic and psychedelic world governed by the singular creatures created by the artist.For the 1965 Infinity Mirror Room, titled Phalli’s Field, Kusama created a field of fouls, in which visitors were invited to explore and immerse themselves. “Polka dots are a way to infinity”, Kusama explained in 1968. “When we cancel nature and our body with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment. I become part of the eternal and we cancel ourselves in Love “.
“We are delighted that our Yayoi Kusama retrospective showcases the work of a visionary artist,” said Stephanie Rosenthal, director of the Gropius Bau. “Kusama not only established a unique status in the art world of the 1960s with her multidisciplinary practice, but her political statements also contributed to the feminist debate of the time. Some issues that have not lost their importance today can be found from the earliest stages of his work. Reconstructing innovative exhibitions, which Kusama herself has designed down to the smallest detail, this retrospective will reflect on the artist’s presence in Germany and retrace the development of her art from the 1950s. One of the objectives of the Berlin exhibition “, concludes Rosenthal,” is to address his artistic personality and emphasize the important role he played in an international network of artists, critics, curators and galleries “.The exhibition will include a new Infinity Mirror Room, recent paintings and an installation in the atrium of the Gropius Bau, created specifically for the exhibition.