Installation view of <strong>Yayoi Kusama’s</strong> <em>Narcissus Garden</em> 1966 / 2022, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan <br /> Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner <br />© YAYOI KUSAMA <br /> Photo: Masatomo Moriyama

“A global phenomenon, there are few artists working today who can match the presence and impact of Yayoi Kusama. Narcissus Garden is an iconic work which embodies Kusama’s playful and poignant spirit.” – Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV

This year, the NGV is seeking your support to help us add Yayoi Kusama’s extraordinary work, Narcissus Garden to the Gallery’s Collection. To join us in making this important acquisition possible, we warmly invite you to support the 2024 Annual Appeal. We are sincerely grateful for donations of any size, and we thank you for your generosity.

If you would like further information about supporting this acquisition, please contact the NGV Foundation team on (+61 3) 8620 2415 or ngv.foundation@ngv.vic.gov.au.

The NGV warmly thanks the following supporters who have made leadership gifts to help secure this significant work:

Leadership Gifts
Decjuba Foundation
Shirley Hsieh and Susan Lin
Paula Fox AO & the Fox Family
The Neilson Foundation
Gwenneth Nancy Head Foundation
John Higgins AO & Jodie Maunder
King Family Foundation
The Neumann Auster Family
Chris Thomas AM & Cheryl Thomas
Donors to the 2024 NGV Foundation Annual Dinner
Donors to the 2024 NGV Annual Appeal
 
Bagôt Gjergja Foundation
Suzanne Kirkham
John Fast & Jenny Fast
John Bates & Lorraine Bates
Lisa Ring
Anita Simon
Ralph Ward-Ambler AM & Barbara Ward-Ambler
Robyn Wilson & Ross Wilson

Installation view of Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden 1966 / 2022, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan.
Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner. © YAYOI KUSAMA.
Photo: Masatomo Moriyama

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Yayoi Kusama was born in Japan in 1929, and is considered one of the world’s most important living artists. Active for over eight decades, Kusama has made bold and pioneering contributions to key art movements including Minimalism, Pop Art, performance and feminist art in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Kusama’s creative output spans sculpture, installation, painting, performance, fashion and writing. She is renowned globally for her singular and idiosyncratic use of pattern and symbols to create immersive, thought-provoking and intensely personal works of art that transcend language and borders. For several decades, Kusama has presented major art installations in museums around the world which have garnered extraordinary attention and led to countless sell-out exhibitions.

ABOUT THE WORK

Consisting of 1,400 stainless steel spheres, each 30 cm in diameter, Narcissus Garden produces a visual landscape that infinitely reflects and envelops viewers as they explore the installation. The work references the Greek myth of Narcissus, who was so captivated by his own reflection in a body of water that it led to his drowning.

During the opening week of the Venice Biennale in 1966, Kusama placed a sign at the installation emblazoned with the words ‘YOUR NARCISSIUM [sic] FOR SALE’. She sold the mirror balls to passers-by for two US dollars each, before Biennale authorities told her to stop selling art “like hot dogs or ice cream cones”.

Through experiencing Narcissus Garden, Kusama gives audiences the power to see their own reflection and, in turn, be captivated. Narcissus Garden continues to live on – commissioned and re-installed in indoor and outdoor settings and configurations around the world – and connects the past with the present, signifying the enduring impact of Yayoi Kusama’s art.

STRENGTHENING THE NGV COLLECTION

Narcissus Garden is a definitive work in Yayoi Kusama’s career and an important acquisition for the NGV Collection. Its unofficial inclusion in the 1966 Venice Biennale came early in Kusama’s career as she was defining her style and unique voice within a global art world. The enduring beauty and relevance of Narcissus Garden, reimagined for the NGV, is a testament to her steadfast artistic vision.

In the true sense of the word, Yayoi Kusama is an icon – a peerless global phenomenon, and a woman who has captured the zeitgeist of contemporary culture like no other. Local and visiting audiences will be captivated by this impactful artwork, and the NGV Collection will be enriched for generations to come thanks to the support of our community.

Donna McColm
Assistant Director, Curatorial and Audience Engagement

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

In December 2024, the National Gallery of Victoria celebrates the illustrious career of iconic contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama, with an exclusive world-premiere exhibition, spanning over eight decades of practice.

Presented across the entire ground floor of NGV International, this is the most comprehensive exhibition of Kusama’s work ever staged in Australia. The exhibition features more than 180 works spanning painting, sculpture, collage, fashion and installation, with many drawn from the artist’s personal collection. Significant loans also come from museums and private collections throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including important early works that rarely travel.

Garnering worldwide recognition for her unparalleled ability to create astonishing immersive experiences, there are few artists working today with the global presence of Yayoi Kusama. The NGV is delighted to present this landmark exhibition for the enjoyment of visitors to Melbourne over summer 2024-25.

View the exhibition

DONATE TODAY

We warmly welcome donations of any amount and thank you for considering a donation to ensure this work will remain in the NGV Collection for visitors to enjoy now and into the future.

All donations of $2 or over are tax deductible.

If you would like further information about supporting this acquisition, please contact the NGV Foundation team on (+61 3) 8620 2415 or ngv.foundation@ngv.vic.gov.au

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Bank Westpac Banking Corporation
Account Name Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria – Donations
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Please quote AA2024 and your surname on the electronic transfer and provide your details either by email (ngv.foundation@ngv.vic.gov.au) or by phoning the NGV Foundation on (+61 3) 8620 2415 so that we can acknowledge your donation.

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National Gallery of Victoria
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MELBOURNE VIC 3004