KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature was to have opened on May 9, 2020 and tickets had been been selling briskly.
As with other events large and small in NYC, this is yet another victim of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Original plans for the Kusama exhibit remain in place.
This will still be a major exhibition by the internationally celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, with sculptures and paintings throughout NYBG, indoors and out, including one of her famous infinity mirror rooms.
Some of the works on view at NYBG will be seen for the first time in the United States, and others have been specially created for this exhibit.
Unlike other special art shows at NYBG, like the recent Chihuly art glass exhibit, which travel widely, KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is a one-and-only, only in New York.
So NYBG will be the only place in the United States where you can experience the whimsical magic of Yoyoi Kusama works in a garden setting.
The exhibit includes works from throughout her career and multifaceted practice, and debut new works created by the artist such as the monumental Dancing Pumpkin (2020).
The exhibition will be installed across the Garden’s 250 acres and in several of its historic buildings. Outdoor works will include large-scale sculptures.
The equally magical Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, NYBG;s signature sprawling glass greenhouse, will display a spectacular tribute to Kusama based on one of her vibrant paintings. It includes her first ever “participatory” installation, in which visitors can add the own flowers to create a unique living artwork.
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building will feature immersive experiences as well as examples of her earlier work, including botanical sketches, paintings, works on paper, biomorphic collages, assemblages, and recent soft sculpture and canvas works. Many of these will be on view for the first time in the U.S.
Those early sketchbooks show her growing childhood fascination with flowers and plants, and it’s easy to see how the natural world has inspired her throughout her career.
Kusama Infinity Room
Many of us are most familiar with Kusama’s mirrored infinity rooms, and of course, there will be one here, too.
Titled Infinity Mirror Room—Illusion Inside the Heart, this work is designed for the outdoors, and will respond to changes in natural lighting conditions.
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Changing seasonal plants and flowers will entice return visits.
Tickets information at nybg.org/kusama
- If you purchased your KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature tickets online, you will be automatically refunded and receive an e-mail confirmation within 4–6 weeks.
- If you purchased your ticket at the Garden or by phone, NYBG will contact you about processing your refund. This could take a bit more time.
NYBG is setting aside 100,000 free tickets for low-income Bronx residents.
Tickets to the Infinity Room are timed entry, to control the number of people inside at a time.
Visit nybg.org/kusama to sign up for updates and alerts on the exhibition and related public programming.
Read more about the history and impact of the artist in this article in Artnet News
The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad, bus, or subway.
The Garden is open year- round, Tuesday through Sunday and Monday federal holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The best way to enjoy the Garden is with the All-Garden Pass, which includes admission to the grounds as well as to seasonal gardens, exhibitions, and attractions such as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Tram Tour.
The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458
- Yayoi Kusama seated with Pumpkin sculpture courtesy NYBG
- Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room—Illusion Inside the Heart (2020). Photo courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner.
- Yahoi Kusama with flower bouquet courtesy of the artist
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
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