Gropius Bau opens major Yayoi Kusama retrospective with her most complex immersive exhibition to date

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Gropius Bau opens major Yayoi Kusama retrospective with her most complex immersive exhibition to date
Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective, Installation view, 2021, Gropius Bau Photo: Luca Girardini.

BERLIN.- The Gropius Bau opened Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective, a major overview of world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b.1929), now open with her most complex immersive project to date. The installation A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe (2021) was realised by Kusama uniquely for the vast historic atrium of the Gropius Bau, which erupts in a sea of large-scale inflatable tentacles for the exhibition’s duration.

Kusama’s first museum retrospective in Germany unfolds across almost 3000 m and features nearly 300 works from the last 80 years. Subtitled A Bouquet of Love I Saw in the Universe, the exhibition spans gouaches on paper, accumulative sculptures, happenings and fashion work, culminating in her recent paintings and a brand new Infinity Mirror Room. The immersive installation is being shown alongside a reconstruction of the artist’s first Infinity Mirror Room, presented in New York in 1965.

The exhibition features eight additional exhibition reconstructions from 1952 to 1983, alongside archival materials. Emphasising Kusama’s lesser-known time in Europe, the exhibition also shows how Kusama’s performative works prefigured the self-staging of today’s social media and how she redefined the role of women in art.

“I am delighted that my retrospective exhibition will be held at the wonderful Gropius Bau ... This is an exhibition that I will remember for the rest of my life. I thank you with all my heart, love and hope.” – Yayoi Kusama, 2021

Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective is curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, Director of the Gropius Bau, in close collaboration with the artist and her studio in Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition draws extensively on Kusama’s personal archive which Rosenthal and the exhibition team visited in person.

A bilingual catalogue in English and German published by Prestel accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue can be purchased from the Walther Knig bookshop at the Gropius Bau.

Through its duration, the exhibition will feature an extensive programme of education and events.

“Yayoi Kusama’s work is characterised by revolutionary interventions driven by the desire for a union of body and artwork, and an urge to redefine the role of women in art.” – Stephanie Rosenthal, Director, Gropius Bau

The exhibition will travel in November 2021 to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

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