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Yayoi Kusama’s sphere-filled installation will come to the Rockaways this summer

Art East News
Yayoi Kusama’s sphere-filled installation will come to the Rockaways this summer. Installation view of Narcissus Garden at Philip Johnson Glass House (Courtesy Artsy)

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is known for making work filled with circular motifs, and her upcoming site-specific installation titled Narcissus Garden is no exception. The installation of silver spheres will be on view from July 1- September 3 at Fort Tilden, a former United States Army base on the coast in Queens. The exhibition is presented by MoMA PS1 as the third iteration of Rockaway!, an art festival that commemorates the Rockaway Peninsula’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

Gateway National Recreation Area at Fort Tilden, T9 building. Site of Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden for Rockaway! 2018. (Pablo Enriquez/ Courtesy MoMA PS1)

First presented in 1966 at the 33rd Venice Biennale, Narcissus Garden is comprised of 1,500 spheres made of mirrored stainless steel. The artistic intervention will transform the interior of the former coastal artillery installation with mirrored surfaces. The region’s military past and the building’s post-Hurricane Sandy state will be highlighted in the reflections of the sculpture.

During the first presentation of Narcissus Garden in 1966, Kusama, dressed in a gold kimono, threw the spheres around and attempted to sell them to passerby on the lawn outside the Italian Pavilion. The performance was interpreted as “self-promotion and a critique on the commercialization of contemporary art,” according to a statement from the MoMA PS1. The art piece played an important role in marking Kusama’s career as a performance artist in the sixties. Iterations of Narcissus Garden have since been presented in New York City parks and different venues worldwide.

The first iteration of Rockaway! in 2014 featured Patti Smith, Adrián Villar Rojas and Janet Cardiff, while the second iteration in 2016 featured Katharina Grosse. The series is co-organized by Rockaway Artists Alliance, a local non-profit art organization, and National Park Service.

For details please check out this link.

Yayoi Kusama’s sphere-filled installation will come to the Rockaways this summer. Yayoi Kusama with Narcissus Garden (1966) installed in Venice Biennale, Italy, 1966. (Courtesy David Zwirner, Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro)

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