Yayoi Kusama Takes Over New York Botanical Garden

Yayoi Kusama, the iconic Japanese artist has officially taken over the New York Botanical Garden, with her playful pumpkins and remarkable flower sculptures. This unique Sping exhibition includes the artist’s first Obliteration greenhouse and more new works! Keep reading to discover everything about Yayoi Kusama’s iconic art exhibition!

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“Dancing Pumpkin” 
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Yayoi Kusama

After a year of postponing, Yayoi Kusama finally opens her art exhibition, “KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature,” at New York Botanical Garden, which also features an Infinity Room, a representative of the artist’s works. The artist reveals her permanent enchantment with the natural world, beginning with her childhood at the greenhouses and fields of her family’s home. Inspired by her intimate commitment to colors, patterns, and life cycles of plants and flowers, Yayoi Kusama expresses her artistic concepts of obliteration, infinity, and eternity!

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“I Want to Fly to the Universe” 
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“Dancing Pumpkin” 

Nature is much more of a visceral inspiration for her. There’s this constant mode of change—cycles of decay, death, or rebirth—that are constant themes that you can see throughout her work. What was really thrilling for this exhibition was working with the artist in thinking about large-scale installations that were absolutely unique to the botanical garden and not something we could do in a museum.

Guest curator Dr. Mika Yoshitake
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Between the garden’s flowering daffodils and cherry flowers, visitors can see trees covered in red-and-white polka-dot fabric, and some monumental sculptures, opening with I Want to Fly to the Universe at the Reflecting Pool. Kusama’s 1966/2021 Narcissus Garden is one of the most tranquil works on display, in the pool of the Native Plant Garden. It was first created as a critique of art world elitism, 1,400 reflective, stainless-steel spheres now swing smoothly, freely shifting themselves because of the wind and flowing water.

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“Hymn of Life—Tulips”

On view is also Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity, where one can access a dark room to get lost in a bright patch of golden gourds. One of the biggest highlights of this art exhibition is Yayoi Kusama’s first Obliteration greenhouse. Taking inspiration at her family’s seed nursery in her hometown of Matsumoto, Japan, the space has been furnished with live plants, gardening books, and more horticultural details, all of which will gradually turn coral, thanks to the silk flowers and stickers guests are given to place almost anywhere within the installation.

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“Narcissus Garden” 
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“Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees”

As visitors meander the 250-acre site, they can have spontaneous encounters with Kusama’s work. Additionally, indoor gallery spaces house a selection of paintings and works on paper. There are many Yayoi Kusama gems spotted in and around NYBG’s prized Haupt Conservatory: enormous flowers are established from both indoor and outdoor water features, and a glittering mosaic Starry Pumpkin presents a tiled twist on the generally primary-colored topic!

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“Hymn of Life—Tulips”
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