WASHINGTON, DC.- The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
, the Smithsonians museum of modern and contemporary art, will unveil the monumental artwork Pumpkin by celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama on its outdoor plaza Dec. 10, in advance of the holiday season. This marks the U.S. museum debut for the whimsical sculpture, whose surreal scale and bold yellow-and-black pattern embody two of Kusamas most recognized motifs: pumpkins and polka-dots.
Pumpkin will be on display through spring 2017, when it will be featured in the highly anticipated Hirshhorn exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (Feb. 23, 2017May 14, 2017), the first major traveling survey exhibition to explore the evolution of Kusamas immersive infinity rooms.
Legendary painter, sculptor and performance artist Kusama (b. 1929, Tokyo, Japan) uses the pumpkin as a signature form, embracing the gourd as both an allegory and a form of self-portraiture in paintings, drawings, sculptures and some of her most important installations. She has said, It seems pumpkins do not inspire much respect. But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkins generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual base.
Yayoi Kusamas Pumpkin is a tribute to her most beloved motif, at once endearing and grotesque, and almost pulsing with energy, said Hirshhorn associate curator Mika Yoshitake. Seeming to grow from the beds of the Hirshhorn plaza gardens, this crowd-pleasing work adds a vibrant focal point to the museums world-class display of international sculpture.
Visitors are invited to pose with the iconic sculpture, and post their photos using #InfiniteKusama for a chance to be among the first 10 VIP visitors to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors opening weekend.