Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Presents a Landmark Exhibition of Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama Including One Of The Artist’s World-Famous Infinity Mirrored Rooms Opening Nov 17
LAS VEGAS (November 7, 2018) – On November 17, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will open an exhibition featuring two installations by renowned artist Yayoi Kusama. An immersive experience for visitors, Yayoi Kusama offers a unique wonderland of lights and reflections where guests are invited to experience each artwork from within. Both installations, Infinity Mirrored Room: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity and Narcissus Garden, will awaken a sense of wonder and showcase Kusama’s exploration of infinite space.
Infinity Mirrored Room: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity comprises a mirror-lined interior illuminated by flickering golden lanterns, which create shimmering patterns of light before falling into darkness. Viewers are invited to step into the room and stand on a central platform, where they find themselves enveloped by an apparently infinite horizon – in which lights and reflection become as one. In her art philosophy, Kusama defines each human being as a unique polka dot among many. The mirror, meanwhile, offers a sense of infinite existence, an expanding world reaching out to the edges of the universe, one in which the viewer is able to locate and perhaps lose themselves and the world around them in myriad convex reflections. Kusama has described this experience of encountering a dizzying and exhilarating suspension of the self as ‘self-obliteration’. An especially poignant example of Kusama’s iconic immersive environments, Infinity Mirrored Room: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, with its cycle of lightness to darkness, invites us to consider cycles of life and the passage of time. Its imagery is reminiscent of the Japanese tradition of Toro Nagashi, a ceremony which takes place on the final night of the summer Obon festivals, when participants float glowing paper lanterns down a river to commemorate the souls of the dead.
Yayoi Kusama’s seminal installation Narcissus Garden comprises mirrored spheres displayed en masse to create a dynamic reflective field. It is one of the first works by the artist to explore the optical and psychological potential of the mirrored surface as a means of transcending the limits of the physical world, and it creates a participatory experience in which the viewer is cast as the subject of the work. Narcissus Garden originated in 1966, when the artist first participated, albeit unofficially, in the Venice Biennale. In Venice, Kusama installed the spheres on a lawn in front of the Italian Pavilion. Signs placed among them were inscribed with the word ‘Narcissus Garden, Kusama’ and ‘Your Narcissism for Sale’. During the vernissage, Kusama, dressed in a kimono, remained with the installation, offering individual spheres for sale (at $2, or 1,200 lira a piece). This succès de scandale was both revolutionary – a comment on the promotion of the artist through the media and a critique of the mechanization and commodification of the art market – and deeply connected to history, evoking the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. Regarded as pivotal in Kusama’s career, Narcissus Garden anticipates many of the radical performances that would become a focus of her time in New York during the late 1960s, while encapsulating key aspects of Kusama’s wider practice – allusions to microscopic and macroscopic worlds, a preoccupation with the infinite and sublime – that remain compelling in her art to this day.
Recognized today for her robust career, Kusama is one of the most successful and well-known living artists. Time Magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2016.
Yayoi Kusama will be on view Saturday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, April 28, 2019. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for Nevada residents, seniors 65 and older, and students, teachers and military with valid ID. Children 12 and younger are free. For groups of 10 or more, the gallery offers special pricing of $11 per person. For additional information, call (702) 693-7871 or (877) 957-9777, or visit bellagio.com/bgfa.
BGFA is open daily 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Last admissions are sold 30 minutes prior to closing. Guests may enjoy complimentary daily docent tours at 2 p.m., and private docent tours are available at an additional cost.
About Yayoi Kusama
Born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929, Kusama studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in the late 1950s, and by the mid-1960s had become well known in the avant-garde world for her provocative happenings and exhibitions. Since this time, Kusama’s extraordinary artistic endeavors have spanned painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, performance, film, printmaking, installation and environmental art as well as literature, fashion (most notably in her 2012 collaboration with Louis Vuitton) and product design.
Kusama represented Japan at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, and currently lives and works in Tokyo, where the Yayoi Kusama Museum opened October 2017. Over the past decade there have been museum exhibitions of Kusama’s work touring the world in the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Spain, England, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. In 2016 Kusama was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People. She was also named the world’s most popular artist by various news outlets, based on figures reported by The Art Newspaper for global museum attendance. In 2016, Kusama received the Order of Culture, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Emperor of Japan.
About Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
Located at the heart of the elegant Bellagio Resort & Casino, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is Las Vegas’ premier exhibition space – where great art goes on vacation. Since opening in 1998, the gallery has presented exhibitions of artworks and objects drawn from internationally acclaimed museums and private collections, including Primal Water: An Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art; Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection; I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali; Town and Country: From Degas to Picasso; Yousuf Karsh: Icons of the 20th Century; Picasso: Creatures and Creativity; Fabergé Revealed; and Warhol Out West.