The exhibition will be closed on May 14th

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Press Release

A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe.

Curators: Stephanie Rosenthal and Suzanne Landau

Associate Curator: Shahar Molcho; Assistant Curator: Naama Bar-Or

November 15, 2021 – May 14, 2022

Tel Aviv Museum of Art is proud to present, for the first time in Israel, a comprehensive survey of the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan) is one of the most important artists of our time. This spectacular artist, celebrated by millions of admirers around the globe, is known mostly for her endless variations of her pumpkin motif and immersive, mesmerizing Infinity Rooms. Her oeuvre encompasses an unusual range of paintings, sculptures, works on paper, installations, films, performances, fashion design, poetry, and prose. 

The retrospective at Tel Aviv Museum of Art brings together artworks produced over an eighty-year period. This extensive survey of the artist’s career to date traces her work in Japan, the United States, and Europe, from her early paintings and sculptures to her immersive installations that overwhelm the senses. Infinity and self-obliteration are the main recurring themes in Kusama’s work. Obsessive patterns of dots and nets cover surfaces with ceaseless repetition, and mirrors create dizzying spaces that replicate the viewer’s gaze.

This is one of the most important and large exhibitions ever displayed at the Museum. It features some 200 works, including four Infinity Mirror Rooms and works displayed for the first time, spanning almost 3,000 square meters in six spaces across the Museum’s two buildings.

Kusama grew up in Matsumoto during Japan’s foreign policy of expansion in the 1940s, and her family earned their living by running a seed nursery. In 1948, at the age of nineteen, she moved to Kyoto to study the traditional nihonga painting style at the Kyoto Municipal School of Art and Crafts. She subsequently trained in the yōga style – a form of Japanese painting in a Western style, associated with the rapid modernization of Japan. Moving to the United States in the late 1950s, Kusama’s reputation in New York and Europe grew in the 1960s. Her work was exhibited simultaneously in New York galleries and in Amsterdam, The Hague, Essen, Milan, Rotterdam, and Venice. 

The exhibition at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, organized mostly in chronological order, starts at the Main Building, with early works that Kusama created in her hometown of Matsumoto in Japan from 1934 to 1957. These are followed by the innovative works produced after moving to New York: Infinity Net paintings (1958); three-dimensional Accumulation pieces; and her first and second Infinity Rooms – Phalli’s Field (1965) and Infinity Mirrored Room – Love Forever (1966/94). The historic section further features Kusama’s exhibitions in Europe in the 1960s and her performances and films, as well as her return to painting in the 1970s and 1980s, and her development of the Pumpkin motif – including the 2015 Infinity Room, The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens. Crossing the bridge between the Museum’s historic building and the Amir Building, one reaches Kusama’s current output, with two completely new installations developed especially for this exhibition: a new Infinity Mirror Room, The Eternally Infinite Light of the Universe Illuminating the Quest for Truth, and a new site-specific installation, A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe. In addition, an entire gallery is dedicated to an ongoing series of paintings that Kusama has been working on since 2009, seven paintings of which were painted in the past year, which offer insight into her current creative phase.

The exhibition is organized by Gropius Bau, Berlin, in collaboration with Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

It is on view at the Paulson Family Foundation Building (Main Building) – Rebecca and Joseph Meyerhoff Pavilion and the Marc Rich and Gabrielle Rich Wing; The Herta and Paul Amir Building – Bruce and Ruth Rappaport Foyer, Lily and Yoel-Moshe Elstein Multi- Purpose Gallery, and Moise and Chella Safra Hall; and the Lola Beer Ebner Sculpture Garden in Memory of Dolfi Ebner.

The exhibition was made possible by Mifal Hapais. Major funding was provided by Bank Hapoalim; Wissotsky 6 Project by Acro Real Estate, Aviv Group and LR Group; and the insurer of the exhibition, Harel Insurance and Finance. Generous support was provided by Sharon and David Braginsky; Wendy Fisher and the Nathan Kirsh Foundation; Doron and Marianne Livnat; Steeve Nassima; Yael and Rami Ungar; and Rachel and Moshe Yanai. Additional support was provided by Rachelli Mishori and Leon Koffler; Irith Rappaport and Glen Perry; and the Moise Y. Safra Foundation.

There is an additional charge for admission to the exhibition, in addition to the museum admission fee. Discounts are available for Museum and Mifal Hapais members.

Combined exhibition & Kusama-inspired meal at Pastel restaurant is available.

Ticket sale at https://www.tamuseum.org.il/en/exhibition/yayoi-kusama-a-retrospective/

Opening hours:

Mon 12–6 pm

Tue 10 am – 9 pm

Wed 10 am – 8 pm

Thu 10 am – 9 pm

Fri 10 am – 2 pm

Sat 10 am – 6 pm

For more information, contact Hadas Shapira, P.R.  972-50-8862743
hadashapirapr@gmail.com

Ranked one of the ten biggest and best art exhibitions opening in 2021 around the world, an extensive retrospective of Kusama’s work will arrive at Tel Aviv Museum of Art on November 15th.

The exhibition will be presented at TAMA thanks to a collaboration with Studio Kusama in Tokyo and the Gropius Bau in Berlin. 

Tel Aviv Museum of Art will present the first-ever retrospective in Israel of renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), one of the most important contemporary living artists.

The monumental exhibition will offer an overview of Kusama’s main creative periods over the past 70 years, with some 200 works and four Infinity Rooms (unique mirror installations) – including several new works realized for the first time. Spanning almost 3,000 m² across the Museum’s two buildings, in six galleries, the scale of the exhibition is unparalleled.

Yayoi Kusama is among the world’s most popular artists, and can be considered a global brand” herself. Even in her nineties, her looks are unforgettable: red wigs, witch’s hats, sorcerer’s robes and polka-dot clothing have become synonymous with the Japanese artist. Kusama is the most-tagged artist in social media and her work is uniquely suited for our Instagram and selfie age. Hundreds of thousands of people photograph themselves in her unique installations and share the results under hashtags like #YayoiKusama or #InfiniteKusama.  Celebrities like Katy Perry or Adele even preformed inside her artworks.

Kusama is well known for her commercial collaborations with luxury brands. Her partnership with Louis Vuitton in 2012 dramatically increased awareness of her work and her personal narrative.

Kusama’s works are exhibited around the world in leading museums, galleries and public spaces, enjoying wide press coverage. A major retrospective of her work traveled in 2011 and 2012 to the Whitney Museum in New York, the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. In addition, she has had large-scale solo exhibitions in Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan and Chile, among others. In the past seven years, more than five-million museum visitors have queued for a brief glimpse of (and selfie with) the work of Yayoi Kusama.

The exhibition in Israel is curated by Dr. Stephanie Rosenthal, Director of Gropius Bau, and Suzanne Landau, former Director and Chief Curator of TAMA.

Tania Coen-Uzzielli, Director of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art: “We are proud to host this extensive retrospective of Yayoi Kusama’s work. Particularly now, in the post Covid-19 period with all its difficulties, the public thirsts for exciting quality experiences. The presentation of this monumental exhibition in Israel, in collaboration with other museums around the world, will allow the Israeli public to enjoy a unique international cultural event.  The first-ever retrospective in Israel of this renowned Japanese artist will continue to establish Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s standing as one of the foremost art venues in the world.”

Suzanne Landau, curator of the exhibition: “The art of 92-year-old Yayoi Kusama, which thrills millions of people around the world, encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, performance, cinema, and fashion. Her entire oeuvre is mesmerizingly powerful, impressive and pleasurable at the same time. The presentation of her retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is definitely a unique event of historic magnitude.”

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For more information, contact Hadas Shapira, P.R.  972-50-8862743

hadashapirapr@gmail.com

Catalogue

Partners

The exhibition was made possible by Mifal Hapais. 

Major funding was provided by Bank Hapoalim; Wissotsky 6 Project by Acro Real Estate, Aviv Group and LR Group; and the insurer of the exhibition, Harel Insurance and Finance.  

Generous support was provided by Sharon and David Braginsky; Wendy Fisher and the Nathan Kirsh Foundation; Doron and Marianne Livnat; Steeve Nassima; Yael and Rami Ungar; and Rachel and Moshe Yanai. 

Additional support was provided by Rachelli Mishori and Leon Koffler; Irith Rappaport and Glen Perry; Factory 54; the Moise Y. Safra Foundation.