Yayoi Kusama

New York Botanical Garden postpones blockbuster Kusama show due to coronavirus

The artist says the passion she and the garden put into the exhibition is "still burning"

Yayoi Kusama Courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx has announced that its major summer exhibition featuring Yayoi Kusama will be rescheduled until next year due to coronavirus (Covid-19). Kusama: Cosmic Nature, which was due to open in May, will now open in the spring of 2021.

The postponed exhibition, in which works by the Japanese artist will engulf the indoor and outdoor spaces of the 250-acre garden, was slated to be a blockbuster exhibition including several never-shown works from Kusama’s archive and one of her “infinity rooms”, which attract hours-long queues wherever they are installed.

Tickets—which went on sale in February in tiers for members and the public—were sold for $35 for adults, with access to Kusama’s Infinity Room costing an extra $10. The NYBG confirms that buyers will receive a refund in the coming weeks and that it remains the exclusive venue for the exhibition.

Kusama shared a heartfelt message in support of the plans to reschedule: “The passion that I and those at the NYBG have poured into this exhibition is still burning. Everyone, I hope you will wait. We aspire for endless love permeated with everyone’s hearts of human love, a wish for peace in the world, our dreams, and wonders of hope—it is our wish that this exhibition can offer these as its greatest gift. I hope you can wait.”

All other in-person events and on-site programmes at the NYBG have also been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but plant lovers can still access the garden (sans Kusama works) through NYBG at Home, which includes online classes on horticulture, reading materials and videos and photographs capturing spring's unfolding.