Yayoi Kusama

October 19, 2022 - February 5, 2023

Gallery 103

This room presents Infinity Mirrored Room – A Wish for Human Happiness Calling from Beyond the Universe (2020), a work by the Japanese artist and writer Yayoi Kusama (Matsumoto, Nagano, 1929) that is included in the exhibition Sections/Intersections. 25 Years of the Collection of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, organized as part of the celebrations of the institution’s 25th Anniversary.,

Kusama is a unique voice who has been rediscovered by art historians and restored to the prominence that is hers by right. A leading pioneer of contemporary creativity, she envisages art as a means of social change, and to this end makes use of performance, painting, drawing, sculpture, literature, and her well-known immersive installations, the Infinity Mirror Rooms.

The artist started to work on the characteristic motifs of her production at an early age as a result of the hallucinations she suffered. Her work was soon inundated with patterns and reiterations, and after her arrival in New York in the late 1950s, these first found expression in her Infinity Nets, large monochromatic paintings that were gradually to expand until they occupied walls and then whole rooms from floor to ceiling.

During the 1960s, Kusama became an important activist, using her art, and especially film and performance, to show the changes she demanded from the society of the time. The lack of “official” recognition of her work plunged her into a profound crisis that led to her return to Japan in the 1970s and her self-imposed exile from the public sphere in order to continue working, concentrating on art as therapy. It was not until the 1980s that her work started to be publicly reinstated through the exhibition of her pieces, which were to serve as a stimulus for new creations.

With Infinity Mirrored Room – A Wish for Human Happiness Calling from Beyond the Universe, one of the last works produced by an artist now in her nineties, we are drawn once more into an immersive experience. The space projects Kusama’s hallucinations, making us participants in her obsessive universe and transmitting the need for “self-obliteration” by inviting us to disappear in the vibrant and unique interplay of colored lights that multiply limitlessly on the mirrored walls of this infinite room.