Boijmans acquires Infinity Mirror Room by Kusama

Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli’s Field (Floor Show), 1965 (1998). Sewn stuffed  fabric, board, mirror room without ceiling. 250 x 455 x 455 cm inside. Mixedmedia. Installation view: R. Castellane Galle Photo: Bob Goedewaagen

Press release
20 December 2010

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has acquired the work Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (Matsumoto, 1929). It is a key work in the oeuvre of one of the most important artists of the second half of the twentieth century.

Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field (1965) is the first installation in which Kusama made use of mirrors, a material that she has continued to use ever since and which. Together with her characteristic dots, mirrors are an essential component of Kusama’s. Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field was Kusama’s second large-scale total environment: a mirrored room that consumes the visitor and makes him or her a participant in the work.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Collection
The installation fits seamlessly within the museum’s collection. Alongside many important works by members of the Nul and Zero groups and associated movements, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has an extensive collection of Pop art, Op art and Minimalism. Kusama’s work forms an excellent complement to these aspects of the collection.

Mirrored Years
In 2008 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen organised the exhibition Mirrored Years, which showed Yayoi Kusama’s unrivalled vigour by establishing a confrontation between her early installations, films and sculptures from the 1960s and her recent work. Mirrored Years demonstrated the continuity in Kusama’s oeuvre as well as the freshness and innovation of certain themes within her work. Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field was included in the exhibition.

Multifaceted oeuvre
Yayoi Kusama gained worldwide recognition in the art world almost immediately after she moved to New York in 1958. She created a stir with her large installations in which the visitor was surrounded by thousands of small, colourful, stuffed – often phallic – textile objects. Her reputation was especially strong in the Netherlands: in the 1960s she exhibited more frequently here than in any other country. Her presence gave an additional impulse to the development and international recognition of the Dutch Nul group. Working in a variety of disciplines, Kusama developed an increasingly diverse, rich and layered body of work. Her fascination with sensory experiences and large installations has had a significant influence on generations of leading artists.

The purchase has been made possible with the Willem van Rede Fund and the Mondriaan Foundation.