Yayoi Kusama
Jul 12–Sep 30, 2012

The artist Yayoi Kusama with her signature orange wig, wearing a print that is repeated in the backdrop.

Yayoi Kusama in Yellow Tree furniture room at Aich triennale, Nagoya, Japan, 2010 (detail). © Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusma Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery New York

Well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots and nets, as well as her intense, large-scale environments, Yayoi Kusama works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama came to the United States in 1957 and quickly found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. After achieving fame through groundbreaking exhibitions and art “happenings,” she returned to her native country in 1973 and is now one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists. This retrospective features works spanning Kusama’s career.

Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water is being shown in the Museum’s Lobby Gallery in conjunction with the Yayoi Kusama retrospective. Timed tickets are required to view Fireflies on the Water and can only be reserved on the day of your visit at the admission desk. 

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Tate Modern, London.

Supported by

Additional support for the Whitney’s presentation of Yayoi Kusama is provided by Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, The Gage Fund, Susan Hancock/Royal T, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, The Japan Foundation, New York, and Linda and Andrew Safran.

With thanks to Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; and Yayoi Kusama Studio, Inc. for their support of the international tour of the Yayoi Kusama exhibition.

Additional thanks to Gagosian Gallery for their assistance with the Yayoi Kusama exhibition in New York.



Watch and Listen


In the News

Review: “Vivid Hallucinations From a Fragile Life
The New York Times

"[Kusama's] works are triumphant, humorous celebrations of potential, vulnerability and defiance"
—The Boston Globe

Interview: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind"
Bullett

"Kusama’s is a wonderful behind-the-music story, the outsider with destiny in her sights, who moves to the big city to prove herself, then collapses under the strain of striving, only to stage a comeback, bigger than ever."
New York Magazine

Video: Mo Rocca interviews Yayoi Kusama
CBS Sunday Morning

"Fame Becomes Her"
W Magazine