One of the most anticipated exhibitions of 2017!  


DAME of the DOT

Artist, icon and pop culture influencer brings light show to Washington D.C.




compiled + edited by Janel St. John

JAN 20, 2017




A career retrospective of an iconic artist who's nearly ninety, should not only be ground-breaking and jaw-dropping, it should be the most stunning visual display imaginable. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors opening February 23, 2017 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, promises to be just that! Billed as an unforgettable sensory journey and 2017’s essential art experience, the show celebrates the legendary Japanese artist’s 65-year career. An avant-garde sculptor, painter and novelist, visitors are invited inside the psychedelic world of Yayoi Kusama - a rebel, icon and worldwide phenomenon.

Infinity Mirrors  features six of Kusama’s dazzling mirror rooms at once, alongside more than 60 whimsical installations, vibrant sculpture, and colorful, large-scale paintings making their U.S. debut.

From her radical performances in the 1960’s, when she staged underground polka dot “happenings” on the streets of New York - to her most recent Infinity Room, 2016’s All the Eternal Love I Have For the Pumpkins, the Hirshhorn exhibition brings together Kusama’s full range of unbridled creation for the first North American tour in nearly two decades.

Kusama’s monumental Pumpkin (left) now on view on the Hirshhorn Plaza, will remain there through the course of the exhibition. Pumpkins are one of the artist’s most beloved motifs. Through Feb. 1, the public can enter to win VIP passes for opening weekend, by taking pictures and sharing on Instagram with the hashtag #InfiniteKusama.



Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin, 2016, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore. © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by Cathy Carver

FREE Timed Passses

Exhibition passes will be released online every MONDAY at 12 NOON, beginning FEB 13. LINK for passes.

The Infinity Rooms are immersive installations designed to be experienced by only a few people at a time.

The rooms include Phalli’s Field (1965/2016), a dense field of seemingly limitless red-spotted tubers. Love Forever (1966/1994), a hexagonal chamber of flashing lights and bright colors.

Kusama’s signature polka dot motif explodes into Dots Obsession—Love Transformed Into Dots (2007), a domed mirrored room bursting with balloon-like inflatables.

In later rooms, Kusama has used LEDs to create spectacular infinite environments where twinkling lights, lanterns, and crystalline balls extend into space. Once the door closes, visitors are enveloped by an endless, sparkling horizon.

The exhibition’s finale is her iconic installation, The Obliteration Room (2002), an all-white living room turned participatory artwork, in which Kusama invites visitors to cover every surface with dot stickers, gradually engulfing the entire space in color.




Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), Cockscomb, 1989. Acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 38 cm.

A lifetime of art, media, awards + impact

Kusama started painting polka dots and nets at age ten, creating fantastic works in watercolors, pastels and oils. She came to the United States in 1957 and stayed until 1973 before returning to Japan. During that time she showed large-scale paintings and environmental sculptures using mirrors and electric lights. In the 1960s she staged festivals, fashion shows and anti-war demonstrations, and in 1968, produced and starred in a film about herself. It won prizes at the Fourth International Experimental Film Competition in Belgium, the Maryland Film Festival and took second place at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Throughout the 80s and 90s Kusama exhibited in France, New York and England and  participated in the 45th Venice Biennale. For two years in a row, her NY show won Best Gallery Show from the International Association of Art Critics. From the nineties through 2013, she’s had a major retrospectives to travel the world and racked up numerous award.  Highlights include receiving The Education Minister's Art Encouragement Prize in 2000 and a National Lifetime Achievement Award. Her 2004 solo exhibition, KUSAMATRIX opened at Mori Museum in Tokyo and drew 520,000 visitors.  In 2008, her documentary film, “Yayoi Kusama, I Adore Myself," was released in Japan. Her solo shows toured Japan and South America in 2012 and 2013.


A fashion force

She launched the Kusama Fashion Company, while living in New York in the 1960s. According to her autobiography "Infinity Net," she sold her dresses and textiles in boutiques, including her own on Sixth Avenue and 8th Street. For a time, Bloomingdales “set up a complete Kusama Corner,” with her signature polka dot dresses. But it was her 2006 meeting with Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs, that resulted in the “LOUIS VUITTON × YAYOI KUSAMA Collection” - her highest impact fashion foray.

In 2012, the Paris-based luxury fashion brand, unveiled their collaboration with Kusama in grand scale. The polka dots not only covered clothes and accessories, her repetitive design inspired Louis Vuitton to construct the interiors and windows of the concept store in London. The fairytale-like space that resembled optical illusions, included a display window with a life-sized wax statue of Kusama. (below) The design was extended to all 453 LV stores worldwide.

W Magazine rode the 'infinite design' wave in 2013 and published a Kusama-inspired art issue featuring George Clooney.


  Fabulous polka dotted fashion...of course! Images from the 2012 collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama.

Infinity Mirrors - experience the exhibition

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is offering free timed passes for the first time for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, on view FEB 23–MAY 14, 2017. As the first major exhibition to feature six of the artist’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms, the museum is expecting an overwhelming visitor turn out. Therefore, the Hirshhorn has recruited more than 120 new volunteers and visitor attendants - triple the current number - to welcome and guide visitors. Other new amenitites include an on-site pop-up coffee bar run by local coffee shop, Dolcezza Coffee & Gelato, a heated outdoor visitor facility, expanded free lockers, and a mobile-friendly exhibition website.

“Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular artists in the world, and her remarkable Infinity Mirror Rooms are designed to be intimate and immersive,” said Hirshhorn Deputy Director Elizabeth Duggal. “By offering free timed passes and focusing on visitor experience, we can provide an inspirational and enjoyable museum visit, with the convenience of a guaranteed entry time.” Timed passes are required to experience the exhibition as Room can welcome just a few visitors at a time.  A limited number of same-day walk-up passes will be available at the museum starting Feb. 23.
No passes are required for Hirshhorn members. Join the Hirshhorn.


Coming to the Hirshhorn this Fall...



A World Tour

Organized by the Hirshhorn, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors will embark on the most significant North American tour of the artist’s work in nearly two decades. Following its Washington, DC, debut, the show will travel to five major museums in the United States and Canada.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, Feb 23–May 14, 2017

Seattle Art Museum, June 30–Sept 10, 2017

The Broad, Los Angeles, Oct 21, 2017–Jan 10, 2018

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, March 3–May 27, 2018

Cleveland Museum of Art, July 9–Sept 30, 2018