Dancing pumpkins in the cherry blossoms

Link to New York Botanical Garden exhibition:

'Kusama: Cosmic Nature' at the New York Botanical Garden until autumn 2021

If ever there was an art project bound to bring joy this is it. New York Botanical Garden has invited 92-year-old pop and conceptual artist Yayoi Kusama to spread a little of her magic among their spring flowering cherries. She is best known for her infinity mirrors and polka dot paintings and sculptures.

Kusama, “Dancing Pumpkin” (2020). Photo: Heather Sten

Born in Japan, Kusama moved to New York in the late 1950s to escape the strictures of Japanese life. She joined the avant-garde art scene and came to public attention in the 1960s with ‘happenings’ in which naked participants were painted with polka dots.

Kusama, Flower Obsession (Sunflower) (video still). Collection of the artist and courtesy of the NYBG

This particular project, featuring giant dancing pumpkins and flowers and polka dot trees seems particularly apt for Kusama, who has been open about her struggles with mental health throughout her life.

Kusama, I Want to Fly to the Universe (2020). Collection of the artist. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Since childhood she has hallucinated about plants and optical patterns, which have often featured in her work.

Kusama, “Narcissus Garden” (1966/2021), Photo: Heather Sten

Kusama, Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity (2017). Collection of the artist.

Photo: Yayoi Kusama

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