I visited Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room: The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” at the Broad this past summer. The installation, with colorful lights hanging from a ceiling in a dark room, was breathtaking, and the title added to the effect it creates. Needless to say, I was glad to hear that a larger exhibition for Kusama’s work, featuring six of her infinity rooms and a number of her paintings and sculptures, was going to be on view at the Hirshhorn Museum in D.C. this year.
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” opened on Feb. 23, after the museum released free timed passes on their website two weeks before. Other ways for visitors to view to exhibition is by purchasing Hirshhorn membership or arriving early for a highly limited same-day walk up pass. Though I was one of the first people to wait outside the museum on Sunday morning, it wasn’t long before the exhibition became crowded.
The exhibition is laid out in chronological order, from earlier work dating back to the 1950s at the entrance, to 2016. Though her most recent infinity room, “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” was closed, I was able to able see the others: “Phalli’s Field,” peephole-viewed “Love Forever”, “Dots Obsession”, “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” and the same “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” that was on display at the Broad. The latter two rooms were darker, with flickering lights alluding to life and death, creating a particularly engaging outer-space-like atmosphere.
Due to the high volume of visitors, I had around 20 to 30 seconds in each room, in groups of two to four. Though this experience wasn’t as ideal as being in the rooms alone, I understand that the museum wished to accommodate for as many visitors as possible.
I also enjoyed viewing a collection of Kusama’s paintings, including a few of her “Infinity Nets” and a few pieces of her “My Eternal Soul” collection. The final installation visitors enter before exiting the exhibition is “The Obliteration Room”, where they are given a set of colored stickers to place in an initially white room.
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” has been highly anticipated since it was first announced- and justly so. Anyone visiting the exhibition, which is on display until May 14, will have the opportunity to learn about Kusama’s story and perspectives, and simply enjoy captivating artwork.