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Infinite gratitude

June 1st, 2018

The inside of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room, "The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away."

Yayoi Kusama. Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 287.7 × 415.3 × 415.3 cm. Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. © Yayoi Kusama.

It’s official – we’ve got thousands of reasons to celebrate Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors!

Since the first Members’ Preview on February 28 until the exhibition closed on May 27, the AGO welcomed a total of 169,794 visitors into Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors – that’s more than any other stop on the exhibition’s North American tour to date. We extended our hours so that we were open evenings throughout the exhibition’s run (and were open until midnight the last two weekends) to ensure as many people had the opportunity to come and see the show.

We were thrilled to give visitors the amazing opportunity to experience the work of Yayoi Kusama, one of the most important artists of our time, through her immersive and incredible Infinity Mirror Rooms, paintings, drawings and sculptures.

As the exhibition travels to Cleveland, Ohio and then Atlanta, Georgia, we’re taking a moment to look back at this unique moment in AGO history. Never before has there been an exhibition with such high demand – our online ticket pre-sales saw thousands of people clamouring for tickets. On the final day to book tickets in advance, over 72,000 people were in line – prompting Maclean’s magazine to call the exhibition “the hottest ticket in town.”

Once the exhibition opened, thousands more joined our daily morning rush line – and when we extended the exhibition’s hours to midnight for the final two weekends, Kusama fans showed up! On Saturday, May 26 – the final day of extended hours – there were over 1,700 people in line with blankets, folding chairs, coffee, even a tent. We can’t thank you enough for showing Kusama so much love.

Love was in the air when the exhibition was the site of a marriage proposal. The groom-to-be said he proposed in an Infinity Mirror Room because he wants to be married to his love forever. On the flip side, Toronto Life ran an etiquette column with advice on what to do for a couple who bought tickets together – but then broke up.

The lineup for rush tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on May 26, 2018. Image by the AGO.

The lineup for rush tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on May 26, 2018. Image by the AGO.

The lineup for rush tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on May 26, 2018. Image by the AGO.

The lineup for rush tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on May 26, 2018. Image by the AGO.

The lineup for rush tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on May 26, 2018. Image by the AGO.

The lineup for rush tickets for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on May 26, 2018. Image by the AGO.

The AGO was the first to offer school groups a visit to Kusama, and over the 12 weeks of the exhibition, we welcomed over 4,000 students and teachers. From tiny kindergarten fans to high school teenagers, students got the ultimate field trip experience.

And what does it look like when 169,794 visitors are given a sheet of bright polka dot stickers to cover a completely white room? With our installation of Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room, we’ve got the answer. Check out the time-lapse video and before-and-after photos below and see the room transform from a blank canvas to an explosion of colour.

A stark white living room as part of Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room.

The Obliteration Room before the exhibition opened. Yayoi Kusama, installation view of The Obliteration Room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018. Furniture, white paint, dot stickers. Dimensions variable. The Obliteration Room (2002 to present) first commissioned by Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery. © Yayoi Kusama. Photos by AGO Image Resources.

A living room covered in bright polka dots as part of Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room.

The Obliteration Room as the exhibition closed at the AGO. Yayoi Kusama, installation view of The Obliteration Room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018. Furniture, white paint, dot stickers. Dimensions variable. The Obliteration Room (2002 to present) first commissioned by Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery. © Yayoi Kusama. Photos by AGO Image Resources.

A stark white computer desk and chairs as part of Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room.

The Obliteration Room before the exhibition opened. Yayoi Kusama, installation view of The Obliteration Room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018. Furniture, white paint, dot stickers. Dimensions variable. The Obliteration Room (2002 to present) first commissioned by Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery. © Yayoi Kusama. Photos by AGO Image Resources.

A computer desk and chairs covered in bright polka dots as part of Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room.

The Obliteration Room as the exhibition closed at the AGO. Yayoi Kusama, installation view of The Obliteration Room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018. Furniture, white paint, dot stickers. Dimensions variable. The Obliteration Room (2002 to present) first commissioned by Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery. © Yayoi Kusama. Photos by AGO Image Resources.

Thanks to everyone who supported Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors for making it an exhibition to remember! Next up on the tour: the Cleveland Museum of Art from July 7 to August 30, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia in the fall.

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