SERPENTINE TO UNVEIL LARGE-SCALE PUBLIC SCULPTURE BY YAYOI KUSAMA

This new work by one of the most significant artists living today expands Serpentine’s public art presentations

The Round Pond, Kensington Gardens

9 July – 3 November 2024

Photocall: Tuesday 9 July 2024, 9am – 11am

Please RSVP to press@serpentinegalleries.org

Serpentine and The Royal Parks are delighted to announce the unveiling of a new large-scale sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan; lives and works in Tokyo, Japan). Located by the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens, Pumpkin (2024) will be staged from 9 July to 3 November 2024.

Pumpkin (2024) marks a return to Serpentine for Kusama which was the location of her first retrospective exhibition in Britain in 2000. This major survey included paintings, collages, watercolours, sculptures, documentation of performances and films, all of which explored Kusama’s obsessions with dots, nets, food and sex.

The work on view in Kensington Gardens is Kusama’s tallest bronze pumpkin sculpture to date, standing at 6 metres tall and 5.5 metres in diameter. Installed prominently by the Round Pond, Pumpkin (2024) can be seen from a wide variety of viewpoints and perspectives creating an intriguing dialogue with the surrounding environment of the Park.

Known for her immersive installations, large-scale sculptures and intricate paintings, Yayoi Kusama often features kabocha, or pumpkin, in her work. Since 1946 Kusama’s pumpkins have taken many forms, colours and shapes, but their surfaces are consistently covered in the artist’s signature repeating polka dot pattern.

Kusama’s relationship to the kabocha is rooted in her childhood: the artist’s family cultivated the plant’s seeds, and their home was surrounded by fields of this squash. Pumpkins frequently appear as stand-ins for self-portraits. Kusama admires them for their everyday quality, hardiness, and unique, frequently humorous forms.

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