Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Since December 10th, a gigantic yellow pumpkin with black polka dots has sprouted at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, United States). This is Yayoi Kusama’s famous Pumpkin, which became the emblem of Naoshima Island in Japan since its installation in 2006: “Seeming to grow from the beds of the Hirshhorn plaza gardens, this crowd-pleasing work adds a vibrant focal point to the museum’s world-class display of international sculpture,” explains associate curator Mika Yoshitake.
The cucurbit still holds a special place in Yayoi’s iconography. In 1948, it already appeared in some of her paintings and paper work, and has always been present in the artist’s work even since. She admires pumpkins for their robustness and because of how they are anchored to the ground: “What I liked the most is the generous modesty of the pumpkin. And its solid spiritual basis” 2, said Yayoi Kusama in 2011.
The sculpture will be on display until Spring 2017 and stands as a preview for the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, a retrospective celebrating her 60-year long career, which will be on view from February 23rd until May 14th, 2017.
1 Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net: The Autobiographie of Yayoi Kusama, trad. Ralph McCarthy, London 2011, p.76.