It’s spring, which is our favorite time of year to visit any garden, but the New York Botanical Garden has some amazing artwork by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama on display that will keep the outdoor space vibrant all summer. If you aren’t familiar with Kusama’s work, she created the famous Infinity Rooms and is known for her polka dotted sculptures. Her latest exhibition, Kusama: Cosmic Nature combines both.
The Gardens and Gallery pass will give you access to see all of her works at the garden. One of our favorites was the Dancing Pumpkin, a large yellow and black piece that looms large in front of the conservatory. You can even walk underneath this massive sculpture for a unique view. And another fave was Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity, a small dark room where you enter (no photos or videos allowed). The pumpkins slowly light up and in their mirrored display look like they go on forever, both up and down. It’s mesmerizing.
Inside the conservatory, you’ll see the Hymn of Life – Tulips dancing on the outdoor ponds next to the water lilies. My Soul Blooms Forever features a series of brightly colored waters dancing under the conservatory’s large dome. The Starry Pumpkin is an oversized giant pumpkin that has a little bit of sparkle, a great pumpkin indeed.
Visitors will have a chance to interact and help create her evolving piece, Flower Obsession. You’ll be handed a a pink flower sticker as you enter this garden greenhouse, and with many surfaces to choose from, you can place your sticker and add to the colorful display.
Outdoors in the Native Plant Garden, you’ll see the subtle Narcissus Garden display. The pond is filled with reflective stainless steel balls that float on the water, and amongst the reeds creating a moving and shiny display that glints in the sun.
The Infinity Mirrored Room is a must-visit as well. It’s currently just a large mirrored box, with some small peepholes that give you a glimpse at the infinity room that’s inside. Starting on August 3, visitors will be able to enter the infinity room, with a separate admission.
Your entrance ticket also includes a a garden tram tour, which will take you around the expansive space, and take you past Ascension of the Polka Dots on the Trees, a decorative tree-lined way that features oaks wrapped in Kusama’s signature polka dots.
Greeting you towards the front of the exhibit is the charming I Want to Fly to the Universe sculpture, a happy sun with welcoming arms. Also on display inside Mertz Library Building are some more paintings, collages, sketches and works by Kusama.
Tickets for Kusama’s exhibits (which require a garden and gallery pass) are limited, so make sure to book before you head out. Visitors with a regular garden pass will only be able to see a handful of the outdoor art pieces, and not all of the pieces in the installation. Kusama: Cosmic Nature is on display until October 31.