On view April 4 through September 20, 2020
One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a tribute to the life and practice of Yayoi Kusama, a visionary artist whose revelatory practice has captivated audiences around the world. Building on the Hirshhorn’s blockbuster 2017 exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, this new exhibition affirms Kusama’s legacy within the Museum’s collection and art history with three significant new acquisitions.
One with Eternity will showcase the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection of works by Kusama, including two of her Infinity Mirror Rooms—her first and one of her most recent—that create a dazzling sensation of never-ending space. These transcendent rooms will be exhibited alongside an early painting; sculptures, including Pumpkin (2016) and Flowers—Overcoat (1964); and photographs of the artist. This exhibition honors Kusama’s distinctive vision of self-obliteration by exploring its development across media while also underscoring the Museum’s mission: to present the most exciting art and ideas of our time.
Among the additions to the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection is Kusama’s milestone, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) (1965/2017), the first of the artist’s immersive installations to transform the intense repetition of her earlier paintings and works on paper into a perceptual and participatory experience. The exhibition will also debut one of Kusama’s most recent rooms to Washington, DC, audiences.
Born in Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan in 1929, Kusama fought against great odds to immigrate to the United States in 1957, settling in New York the following year and becoming a permanent resident in 1963. Kusama’s work is characterized by a remarkable consistency of vision, with her earliest works on paper already demonstrating the profound world view that she has steadily deepened throughout her seven-decade career.
Owing to the nature of the artwork, free same-day Timed Passes will be distributed daily at the Museum starting at 9 am throughout the run of the exhibition, April 4 through Sept. 20, 2020. Learn more.
Hirshhorn Insiders are invited to preview the exhibition, March 25 through April 3, 2020. Timed Passes for the Insider Preview are available now. See it first.
Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Nagano, in 1929. Today, she continues to produce paintings at her studio 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-’60s, participating in exhibitions with artists associated with Nul, ZERO, and the New Tendency in Europe, where she began developing her interest in the optics and interactive elements of mirrors, electric lights, sound, and kinetics. The artist’s fame grew in the late 1960s through her radical antiwar happenings, which espoused nudity and polka dots in the streets of New York. Kusama returned to Japan in 1973, where she has since resided. In recent years, Kusama has achieved tremendous critical respect as well as celebrity status.