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ICA Boston Acquires Yayoi Kusama ‘Infinity Mirror Room’ Work

Yayoi Kusama with her work LOVE IS CALLING during her solo exhibition “I Who Have Arrived In Heaven” at David Zwirner in New York in 2013.

©YAYOI KUSAMA/COURTESY DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK; OTA FINE ARTS, TOKYO, SINGAPORE, AND SHANGHAI; AND VICTORIA MIRO, LONDON AND VENICE

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston has acquired Yayoi Kusama’s LOVE IS CALLING (2013), which is now the largest “Infinity Mirror Room” piece by the artist to be owned by a North American museum. The work was purchased from David Zwirner gallery, and it will go on view at the museum in the fall.

LOVE IS CALLING includes colorful, polka-dotted inflatable sculptures, which are situated on the floor and ceiling of a mirrored room. Inside the room, Kusama can be heard reading a love poem she wrote in Japanese. That poem’s title translates to “Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears.”

When it was first shown, in 2013, at David Zwirner’s Chelsea gallery in New York, LOVE IS CALLING was part of a show that drew thousands. Extensive lines to enter the “Infinity Mirror Room” works on view formed throughout the show’s run, with wait times reportedly exceeding four hours.

LOVE IS CALLING also figured in a 2017 exhibition of Kusama’s “Infinity Mirror Rooms” at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. (That exhibition also traveled to such venues as the Broad in Los Angeles and the Seattle Art Museum, though LOVE IS CALLING did not appear in every iteration of the show.) The installation is on display at the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida through February 14, though the exhibition of which it is a part, a survey of romance-themed works called “Season of Love,” will continue through mid-March.

This is the second work by Kusama to enter the ICA’s collection. Also owned by the museum is a 1953 drawing by the artist titled A Flower (No. 14). It is also the second major “Infinity Mirror Room” to make its way to the Boston area—the first, Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016), was on view at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, from July to October last year.

Jill Medvedow, the ICA Boston’s director, said in a statement, “LOVE IS CALLING showcases the breadth of the artist’s visual vocabulary—from her signature polka dots and soft sculptures, brilliant colors and the spoken word, to endless reflections and illusions of space and self. We are very grateful to our generous donors who made this acquisition possible, and look forward to sharing this immersive experience with our visitors for years to come.”

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