It’s been one year since Toronto experienced daily line ups wrapped around the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) for a few months all because of the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors wildly popular exhibition. Thousands of Torontonians and tourists stepped into the artist’s visionary rooms filled with dots, orbs and pumpkins. Now, the AGO is home to Let’s Survive Forever — the first contemporary artwork acquired by the AGO through a major crowd funding campaign that began in November 2018. As the campaign moved forward, hints of the overall installation were revealed. Over 4700 donors, both previous supporters and new, have chipped in put Toronto on the global Kusama map. While gifts ranged from $1 to $25,000, the majority of donations were between $25 to $100. Let’s Survive Forever is now part of the AGO Collection and is the first Canadian art museum to own one of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Rooms.
There are fewer than 20 Infinity Mirror rooms in the world and each one is unique. Let’s Survive Forever is one of the largest with silver spheres suspended from the ceiling of the room as well as arranged on the floor. A mirror pillar inside the exhibit invites people to see what appears to be an infinite field of spheres.
Contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Nagano in 1929. As a student she studied traditional Japanese style painting. In 1958 she moved to New York City where she became active in avant-garde circles. Her influence in pop art exhibited along side artists including Andy Warhol. She attracted much attention late 1960s but due to her health she returned to Japan in 1973 and continues to live and work to this day.
Yayoi Kusama remains to be one of the most influential art icons today. You can read more about her fascinating life here.
Let’s Survive Forever is currently previewing to donors and members will have access starting April 23. Public entry to Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit begins May 25, 2019 and is included in the price of general admission to the AGO. Visitors interested in seeing the exhibit will be directed to a kiosk on the main floor to reserve a timed entry ticket for the same day.