Art Yayoi Kusama comes to Bergamo
Artinstallation

Yayoi Kusama comes to Bergamo

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Giorgia Massari
Yayoi Kusama

According to a survey by The Art Newspaper, Yayoi Kusama is the world’s most popular artist. From giant polka-dot pumpkins to large mirrored installations and her recent collaboration with Louis Vuitton, it’s nearly impossible not to have heard of her. Often hailed as the queen of polka dots, Yayoi Kusama captures generations with her pop yet introspective language. The ninety-four-year-old Japanese artist arrives in Bergamo with Fireflies on the Water, one of her Infinity Mirror Rooms. The exhibition will run from tomorrow, November 17, until March 24, 2024, at the Palazzo della Regione in the Upper City.

The exhibition

Fireflies on the Water is a dark room situated in the center of the space. Access is limited to one person at a time, ensuring a unique and personal experience for each visitor. At the room’s center, entirely lined with mirrors, lies a water pool that emits a sense of tranquility. The ceiling is adorned with 150 lights that, as the artwork’s title suggests, resemble fireflies. These elements in dialogue create a dazzling effect of direct and reflected light, both on the mirrored walls and the water surface. The space appears infinite, without a clear beginning or end. Before reaching the room, visitors go through an initial pathway that delves into Yayoi Kusama’s research through poems, films, and documentations. The curation, led by Maria Marzia Minelli, aims to offer diverse perspectives on Yayoi Kusama’s research and contextualize her profoundly intimate and therapeutic work. Fireflies on the Water is, in fact, a sort of meditative enchantment embodying an almost hallucinatory approach to reality. While linked to the artist’s personal mythology and therapeutic work process, this artwork draws from various sources, exploring the myth of Narcissus and Kusama’s native Japanese landscape.

Bergamo starring in 2023

The exhibition Yayoi Kusama. Infinite Present, curated by Stefano Raimondi – founder of The Blank Contemporary Art – brings for the first time in Italy the installation Fireflies on the Water, part of the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. This is undoubtedly a crucial event for the city of Bergamo, which, in a year where it holds the title of Capital of Culture alongside Brescia, demonstrates «the value of the path the city has undertaken for several years in the field of contemporary art,» as stated by Bergamo’s Culture Councilor Nadia Ghisalberti.

For more information and to purchase a ticket for the exhibition click here.

The exhibition is part of the program of the ARTDATE Contemporary Art Festival, organized by The Blank and Palazzo Monti from Nov. 9 to 26 in the cities of Bergamo and Brescia.

Photo Cover © Yayoi Kusama, Fireflies on the Water, 2002. Mirrors, plexiglass, lights, and water, 111 × 144 1/2 × 144 1/2 in. (281.9 × 367 × 367 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Postwar Committee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of Betsy Wittenborn Miller 2003.322. © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph by Jason Schmidt. 

Photo 1: Yayoi Kusama, Fireflies on the Water, 2002. Mirrors, plexiglass, lights, and water, 111 × 144 1/2 × 144 1/2 in. (281.9 × 367 × 367 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Postwar Committee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of Betsy Wittenborn Miller 2003.322. © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

Photo 2: Yayoi Kusama, Fireflies on the Water, 2002. Mirrors, plexiglass, lights, and water, 111 × 144 1/2 × 144 1/2 in. (281.9 × 367 × 367 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Postwar Committee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of Betsy Wittenborn Miller 2003.322. © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

Photo 3: Yayoi Kusama, Portrait; ©YAYOI KUSAMA

Artinstallation
Written by Giorgia Massari
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