When life was normal back in 2019 and new exhibitions were as common as new lockdown restrictions are now, the New York Botanical Garden revealed they would be hosting an upcoming Yayoi Kusama show entitled Kusama: Cosmic Nature. The show was set to be the artists first ever participatory installation, with the intention to change with the seasons, however as with most good things in the pipeline, the shows 2020 launch was inevitably postponed until the world was no longer shackled to their couches.
Now, as a glimmer of light amid the chaos that has carried over into 2021, the show has announced its new opening date for Kusama: Cosmic Nature, which has been set to April 10, 2021. the exhibition will of course adhere to COVID-19 restrictions, guidelines, and precautions, with limited tickets and further measures in place to ensure a COVID-19-safe experience. “Managing density within the garden has been a major consideration,” the New York Botanic Gardens spokesman told The Art Newspaper. “Tickets will be limited to no more than 33% capacity for outdoor venues and no more than 25% capacity for indoor venues.”
The show will include a new iteration of Kusama’s Infinity Rooms, just one month after her largest infinity room will take residence at the Tate Modern in London. This iteration, titled Infinity Mirrored Room – Illusion Inside the Heart will be a little different to Yayoi Kusama's signature darkroom-like space surrounded by mirrors with an array of suspended balls, and will take form as a glass cube with mirrored sides, reflecting the Botanic Gardens around it.
As a general rule considering the small space inside the Infinity Rooms, hours-long queues typically tend to form around the installations. This will mean that depending on New York State and City COVID-19 guidelines, the NYBG might need to put entering the work on hold, allowing patrons to simply view the cube from the exterior until the summer to decide whether visitors will be permitted to enter the work. The show is said to include previously unseen archival materials alongside three other new commissions, including monolithic biomorphic figures and Kusama’s signature polka-dotted designs on sculpted plants and flowers.