Las Vegas seems like a weirdly perfect place for one of 89 year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s works. Her wildly popular infinity rooms often place the viewer in the center of a seemingly-endless field of golden or jewel-like shimmering lights, which reflect off the mirrored interior like the contents of a treasure chest (or one of Vegas’ ostentatious casinos). But Kusama’s sometimes darker messages behind her work are also appropriate for the so-called city of sin.
The exhibition that opened this weekend (November 17) in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art – which sits among the MGM-owned Bellagio resort and casino on The Strip – will feature two of Kusama’s works. The first, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009) is one of the aforementioned infinity rooms, comprised of a closed mirrored space with golden lights.
The second work in the exhibition, Narcissus Garden (1966-present), is an arrangement of mirrored globes Kusama debuted without permission at the 1966 Venice Biennale. Originally there were 1500 of these reflective orbs, but in Las Vegas they will be halved to 750 for space reasons.
“Over the years we’ve found multiple opportunities to showcase the intricacies of Japanese culture through unique exhibitions to our guests, who visit us from around the world,” said Tarissa Tiberti, executive director of MGM Resorts Art & Culture, in a statement. “This is an incredible moment to highlight two groundbreaking installations by acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama and continue the storytelling nature that art plays in connecting cultures.”