A new anchor in the ICA collection, LOVE IS CALLING goes on view September 24, 2019

(Boston, MA—March 20, 2019) The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) opens Yayoi Kusama’s LOVE IS CALLING (2013) to the public on September 24, announced Jill Medvedow, the ICA’s Ellen Matilda Poss Director. Recently acquired by the ICA, LOVE IS CALLING is the largest and among the most immersive of the artist’s existing Infinity Mirror Rooms. A focused presentation drawn from the ICA’s collection titled Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama accompanies the Infinity Mirror Room, offering audiences insight into Kusama’s influences and her important legacy on contemporary art.

“We are thrilled to share Yayoi Kusama’s groundbreaking work, beloved by audiences around the globe. LOVE IS CALLING offers visitors the opportunity to experience the artist’s notion of the infinite, as well as her public performances that connect personal and political ideas about peace and connectivity,” said Medvedow.

“Yayoi Kusama has indelibly shaped some of the most important art movements of the twentieth century, including Minimalism, Pop art, and feminist and performance art. LOVE IS CALLING encompasses many aspects of Kusama’s unique visual language, including mirrored architectural space, brilliant color, signature polka dots, and the illusion of infinity,” said Eva Respini, the ICA’s Barbara Lee Chief Curator. “Beyond Infinity, the 14th annual presentation of the ICA collection, considers how Kusama’s prescient artistic practice, including her feminist voice and experiments with form and environment, has shaped contemporary art in unique ways.”


Yayoi Kusama
Sep 24, 2019—Feb 7, 2021
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan) is one of today’s most recognized and celebrated artists. In addition to her widely popular Infinity Mirror Rooms, Kusama creates vibrant paintings, works on paper, and sculpture with abstract imagery. LOVE IS CALLING features vividly colored, tentacle-like, inflatable sculptures covered with the artist’s signature polka dots and encased in a dark mirrored room to create an illusion of infinite space. As visitors walk throughout the installation, a sound recording of Kusama reciting a love poem in Japanese plays continuously. Written by the artist, the poem’s title translates to Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears in English. Exploring enduring themes including life and death, the poem poignantly expresses Kusama’s hope to spread a universal message of love through her art. The largest of Kusama’s existing Infinity Mirror Rooms, LOVE IS CALLING is the first one held in the permanent collection of a New England museum. In 1966, the ICA exhibited an Infinity Mirror Room, now titled Endless Love Show, in the exhibition Multiplicity; the museum also owns a 1953 drawing by the artist. LOVE IS CALLING is organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator.

Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama

Sep 24, 2019—Feb 7, 2021
Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama features approximately 15 works from the 1950s to today, encompassing sculpture, painting, film, photography, and drawings. Primarily drawn from the ICA collection with select loans, the exhibition will focus on Kusama’s legacy in three key areas—repetition, the self, and the kaleidoscopic. Beyond Infinity will provide visitors with a deeper understanding of how the immersive environment of LOVE IS CALLING embodies the artist’s longstanding exploration of accumulation, repetition, luminescence, life and death, and happenings. Works featuring Kusama’s obsessive repetition of symbols, patterns, and forms will be paired with works by contemporaries such as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, and Ana Mendieta, as well as current practitioners such as Nick Cave, Tara Donovan, Jimmy DeSana, Josh Faught, Ellen Gallagher, and Josiah McElheny, whose work reflects the legacy of post-minimalism, performance art, and Pop art. Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama is organized by Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator.

Press preview

Tue, Sep 17, 9:30 AM
Media are invited to experience Kusama’s work and tour the exhibition. RSVP to Margaux Leonard, mleonard@icaboston.org

Member preview days

Thu, Sep 19—Sun, Sep 22
ICA members are invited to preview LOVE IS CALLING and Beyond Infinity before they open to the public.

Exhibition-related programs

The presentation of LOVE IS CALLING and Beyond Infinity will be enriched by a variety of public programs, including gallery and curator talks. More details to be announced soon.

About the ICA

Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and augmenting art’s role as educator, incubator, and convener for social engagement. Its innovative exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. Spanning two locations across Boston Harbor, the ICA offers year-round programming at its iconic building in Boston’s Seaport and seasonal programming (May-September) at the Watershed in an East Boston shipyard.
The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at icaboston.org. Follow the ICA at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.