Japanese artist Kusama wows U.S. and Canada

U.S. map with exhibit locations marked (State Dept.)
Exhibit locations for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition. (State Dept.)

The hottest ticket in Washington lets visitors enter mirrored rooms full of brightly colored pumpkins, polka dots or dangling globes from legendary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Infinity Mirrors, at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, promises “the chance to step into an illusion of infinite space.” Every week, free online passes disappear in minutes, and hopeful museumgoers arrive hours before the museum opens, seeking extras.

The exhibit marks the first time the Smithsonian is offering virtual reality headsets to visitors who have disabilities and whose wheelchairs would be too large to enter some of the exhibition’s small spaces.

Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929 and now lives in Tokyo. She lived in New York from 1958 to 1973. She was named the most popular artist in 2014, based on museum attendance. The Infinity Mirrors exhibition ends in Washington in May, then moves to several U.S. and Canadian cities through 2019.

Here’s a chance to see some of the six rooms and other pieces that make up the exhibition — without standing in line.

Stylized pumpkins in room with mirrors (Hirshhorn Museum)
“All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” (Hirshhorn Museum)
Colorful and whimsical sculptures and paintings (Hirshhorn Museum)
Several whimsical sculptures and paintings (Hirshhorn Museum)
Ceiling filled with colored lightbulbs, in room of mirrors (HIrshhorn Museum)
“Infinity Mirrored Room — Love Forever” (Hirshhorn Museum)
Violet sculpture in room of mirrors (Hirshhorn Museum)
“Violet Obsession” (Hirshhorn Museum)
Illuminated lanterns in room of mirrors (Hirshhorn Museum)
“Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” (Hirshhorn Museum)
Freeform sculptures covered with yellow polka dots (Hirshhorn Museum)
“Life Repetitive Vision” (Hirshhorn Museum)
Room with dining table, chairs, bookshelves, lamps and other furniture covered with multicolored polka dots (Hirshhorn Museum)
“Obliteration Room” (Hirshhorn Museum)

A previous version of this story was published on April 18, 2017.