Yayoi Kusama Takes Over the Glass House
In 1966, for the 33rd Venice Biennale, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama decided to install hundreds of metallic spheres on the ground of the exterior space of the Giardini. For this first installation, the spheres were accompanied by two signs stating “Your Narcissium for Sale” and “Narcissus Garden, Kusama”. Fifty years later, Narcissus Garden is on view to the west of the Glass House (New Canaan, Connecticut) to celebrate the 110th anniversary of architect Philip Johnson and the 10th anniversary of the opening to the public of this unique site.
The Glass House, which was conceived by Philip Johnson and became his residence from 1949 to 2005, is a 55-foot long and 33-foot wide pavilion. As its name suggests, the specificity of the construction is that all its exterior walls are made of glass, which allows it to seamlessly integrate into the natural landscape. As Philip Johnson explains1, landscape prevails over architecture, not the opposite. The Glass House is surrounded by 50 acres of land which host several outdoor sculptures, a pond, and exhibition galleries. (For a virtual 360° visit of the Glass House click here)
Narcissus Garden is located west of the Glass House, on the artificial pond. 1,300 steel spheres, each about one foot in diameter, float on the surface of the pond, drifting with the movements of the water and of the wind, thus forming a kinetic sculpture. It is an explicit homage to Narcissus since the spheres’ mirrored surfaces reflect the image of the visitors and of the surrounding landscape, creating a mise en abyme of the landscape, repeated 1,300 times.
“My desire is to measure and to make order of the infinite, unbounded universe from my own position within it, with polka dots. – In exploring this, the single dot is my own life, and I am a single particle amongst billions. – I work with the principal themes of infinity, self-image, and compulsive repetition in objects and forms, such as the steel spheres of Narcissus Garden and the mirrored walls I have created.” 2
If you visit the Glass House from September 1st to September 26th 2016, you will also be able to see the installation Dots Obsession — Alive, Seeking for Eternal Hope, a unique installation which completely engages the Glass House, covering it with Kusama’s famous polka dots.
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan, Connecticut
1st May — 30 November
Mon – Sat : 9h30 – 18h
Sunday : 11h – 18h
1 Source : http://theglasshouse.org/explore/the-glass-house/
2 Source : http://theglasshouse.org/whats-on/yayoi-kusama-narcissus-garden/