The Fellows Visit Kusama Exhibit at The Broad

Spend the day surrounded by art, friendship, delicious food, and the result is pure merriment.  The Fellows of Robinson Gardens were welcomed by the VSA (Visitor Services Associate) at The Broad on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017.

The Broad is a contemporary art museum, founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.  Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the museum offers free general admission to its permanent collection.  The Broad is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad Collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide which includes works by Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and Roy Lichtenstein.  The 120,000 square-foot building features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.  Since opening in September 2015, The Broad has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors.

Our visit, timed when the museum was just opening its doors for the day, provided a wonderful opportunity to comfortably view the first full survey by Japanese artist, “Yayoi Kusama’s: Infinity Mirrors” exhibition.  After 50,000 tickets sold out in less than an hour, The Broad extended its hours each day to allow more visitors and made an additional 40,000 more tickets available.  Following its debut at the organizing institution – Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in February 2017, it traveled to the Seattle Art Museum (June-Sept 2017) before arriving and selling out at The Broad (Oct 2017-Jan 2018).  Next it will be at the Art Gallery of Ontario (March-May 2018) and then The Cleveland Museum of Art (July-Oct 2018).

Since opening in September 2015, The Broad has featured Kusama’s installation “Infinity Mirrored Room: The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,”  2013, from the Broad Collection.  To view it and the other kaleidoscopic environments, alongside large-scale installation and key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950’s to the present, marks the North American debut of the numerous new works by the 87-year-old artist Kusama. She is still actively creating in her Tokyo studio.

Whether it’s the vast array of LED lights creating a sense of limitless space or soft sculptures highlighting recurring themes of nature and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, unity and isolation, obsession and detachment, and life and death, the special exhibition at The Broad is a feast for the eyes and the viewer’s soul.

The exhibition concludes with Kusama’s iconic participatory installation, “The Obliteration Room”, 2002, an all-white replica of a traditional domestic setting. Upon entering, visitors are invited to cover every surface of the furnished gallery with multicolored polka dot stickers produced in the artist’s studio. Of the polka dot, which Kusama continually uses in many mediums including performance art, she has made a life-long exploration into herself. Through an ongoing obsession with polka dots, and various visual processes, she examines how she could represent her own self-obliteration.

Fellows of Robinson Gardens commented after enjoying a 5 course family-style menu next door at Otium restaurant that it had been an exceptional day for them. The general consensus is that we’ve experienced camaraderie and great growth of friendship among the members. We’ve welcomed new members, forging exciting new friendships and enjoying some unforgettable events.  When we gather around with a positive mood, we are reminded that it may be “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year.” Happy Holidays!

Post by Wendy Wintrob
Friends of Robinson Gardens Member

Photos by Diane Jenkins, Linda Meadows and Wendy Wintrob



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