KUSAMA, YAYOI. INFINITY MIRRORS

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Alexander Dumbadze, Gloria Sutton, Mika Yoshitake, Washington D.C., 

Hardcover, 224 pages, 200 color illustrations; 8.875" x 10.875"

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors explores Yayoi Kusama’s best-known and most spectacular series—the Infinity Mirror Rooms—and its influence on the course of contemporary art over the past 50 years. World-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has worked in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, performance art, and installation. Kusama’s iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms, which originated with Phalli’s Field in 1965, situate viewers in kaleidoscopic spaces filled with multicolored lights or whimsical forms. 

These mirror-lined installations reflect endlessly, distorting rooms to project the illusion of infinite space. Over the years, the works have come to symbolize different modalities within the various contexts they have inhabited, from Kusama’s “self-obliteration” in the Vietnam War era to her more harmonious aspirations in the present. 

By examining her early unsettling installations alongside her more recent ethereal atmospheres, this volume aims to historicize the body of work amidst the resurgence of experiential practices within the global landscape of contemporary art. Generously illustrated, this publication invites readers to examine the series’ impact over the course of the artist’s career. Accompanying essays, an interview with the artist, and a scholarly chronology round out the book.

Yayoi Kusama had a breakthrough in 1965 when she produced Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field. Using mirrors, she transformed the intense repetition of her earlier paintings and works on paper into a perceptual experience.

Over the course of her career, the artist has produced more than twenty distinct Infinity Mirror Rooms, and the Hirshhorn’s exhibition—the first to focus on this pioneering body of work—is presenting six of them, the most ever shown together. Ranging from peep-show-like chambers to multimedia installations, each of Kusama’s kaleidoscopic environments offers the chance to step into an illusion of infinite space. The rooms also provide an opportunity to examine the artist’s central themes, such as the celebration of life and its aftermath.

By tracing the development of these iconic installations alongside a selection of her other key artworks, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors aims to reveal the significance of the Infinity MIrror Rooms amidst today’s renewed interest in experiential practices and virtual spaces.

Link to the exhibition at the Hirschorn.

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