A Look Inside The Highly Anticipated ‘Infinity Mirrors’ Exhibit At The High

“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will open this Sunday at the High. It’s on view until Feb. 17. Atlanta is the last stop on the exhibit’s North American tour. (Courtney Kueppers/WABE)

Even though artist Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929 — long before the internet or social media — her work seems made for Instagram.

The bright pumpkins, polka dots, twinkling lights and mirrors that have made her work a sensation are also irresistible photo ops.

And you can anticipate your social media feeds will soon be laden with snapshots of Kusama’s work after “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” opens this weekend at the High Museum of Art.

Atlanta is the last stop on the exhibit’s North American tour. It will be on view until Feb. 17.

“Infinity Mirrored Room – Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, 2009” features Kusama’s use of LED lights (Courtney Kueppers/Atlanta PlanIt)

Tickets for the exhibit sold out quickly — more than 120,000 people are anticipated to visit — when they went on sale in September. But approximately 100 tickets will be available daily on a first-come, first-served basis for walk-up purchase every day the museum is open beginning Nov. 18. 

Even though Kusama doesn’t know what Instagram is, according to curator Mika Yoshitake, the platform does fit nicely with the artist’s philosophy: to build radical connectivity and spread her artistic vision widely.

Yoshitake points out it “strangely aligns with the current generation’s sharing economy.”

“Infinity Mirrored Room – Phalli’s Field, 1965/2016” is the artist’s original infinity room. (Courtney Kueppers/Atlanta PlanIt)

What makes the show such a sensation? Michael Rooks, the exhibit’s presenting curator, said “there are as many answers to that as there are people who have seen the exhibition.”

It’s different from other art exhibits, because rather than interpreting the work through one’s own reflection, it allows audience members to share in Kusama’s vision when they enter one of the six Infinity Mirrored Rooms.  

“There’s a magical quality to these rooms. As you approach them they seem like unassuming, small white boxes, but when you go through that door you enter an entire universe,” Rooks said.

“Life Repetitive Vision” (1998) is among the sculptural installations included in the exhibit. (Courtney Kueppers/Atlanta PlanIt)

The High’s Director, Randall Suffolk, said the museum rallied hard to bring the show to Atlanta. Noting the team felt strongly that it ought to be presented at a Southern venue.

Kusama first came to America in the 1950s. It was then she began to infiltrate the largely male-dominated art scene in New York.

The exhibit at the High is a look at her artistic evolution over six decades. In addition to the rooms, which two-three visitors will enter at a time for 20-30 seconds, the exhibit also features some of Kusama’s paintings and sculptures.

The works range from early in her career to much more recent.

Prior to the High, the exhibit was on view in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, Toronto and Cleveland.(Courtney Kueppers/Atlanta PlanIt)

“The exhibition really does give a broad, if concise, arc to a range of this artist’s nearly 60-year long career,” Rooks said.  

And while Rooks said there are “infinite” takes on what makes the exhibit so special, he thinks visitors will agree that it is “mind-blowing.”

“Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions Of Light Years Away, 2013” is filled with crystalline balls. It’s some of Kusama’s more recent work. (Courtney Kueppers/Atlanta PlanIt)

“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will be at the High Museum of Art until Feb. 17. Tickets are $29 for all visitors ages 6 and over and $5 for visitors ages 5 and under. More information is available here.

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