Of all the things we left behind in 2017, Kusama fever was certainly not one of them. If you missed her by-now legendary “Infinity Rooms” in Washington, DC, Singapore, and Seattle last year — whether because of incredibly long lines, crashing websites, or mere inconvenience — you’ll have plenty of chances to experience at least one of Kusama’s magical spaces in 2018.
The special exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow is currently open at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Australia, and the Broad in LA has an infinity room in its permanent collection, not to mention the newly opened Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo. Out of curiosity, we decided to find out just how long the waits are to see the various infinity rooms at venues around the world. It turned out the question was a bit more complicated than we’d thought — and we’ve included our highly scientific emoji rating system to ensure accuracy.
If you know of any other Infinity Rooms (and their associated wait times) installed around the world, please let us know and we’ll update our list.
Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto)
Tickets to the ever-popular Infinity Mirrors traveling exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario sold out its first three batches of timed tickets January 16-19. (The next batch goes on sale March 6 at 10 am.) How long people will have to wait outside with their tickets in hand remains to be seen, although the museum’s website does say: “Plan on spending up to two hours viewing the exhibition with average wait times of 20 minutes per room.” Though we should mention a CBC reporter said more than 50,000 people tried to get tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors on the morning of Tuesday, January 16. The AGO told her that “demand has been unprecedented.” The reporter even quotes an art lover and their surprise at the demand: “I recently purchased tickets for Hamilton in New York and even for that I didn’t have to wait so long!”
The Broad (LA)
Visitors sign up for a wait list to see “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” on an iPad in the lobby, and the automated system sends a text message when it’s your turn, so people can roam around the museum instead of waiting in line. The Broad’s press office told us that wait times vary widely, “from just a few minutes to several hours.” The answer is vague, but least you can see the rest of the museum or eat lunch while you’re waiting.
Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas)
This one lasts until February 25, but that still means you have time to check out Yayoi Kusama’s “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” (2016), though you do have to purchase a timed ticket. The draw here, according to the museum, is that this is the first mirror pumpkin room created by Kusama since 1991 and the only “Infinity Mirror Room” of its kind in a North American collection. According to their Director of Communications and Public Affairs Jill Bernstein, “After witnessing the overwhelming popularity of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms around the nation, the Dallas Museum of Art decided to implement a timed ticketing policy to minimize lines and wait time. In order to experience Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins at the DMA, visitors must select a specific date and 15 minute increment of time prior to their arrival. Guests are then encouraged to arrive at most 30 minutes prior to their specific time. While weekend spots are our most popular times and produce larger crowds, we have found that the lines run smoothly and efficiently with minimal wait times.”
Yayoi Kusama Museum (Tokyo)
The new Tokyo museum’s press office says they don’t keep track fo wait times for the infinity rooms, but all of the museum’s tickets are completely sold out through the end of February. The museum will take a monthlong break in March, before opening back up in April. If you’re looking to get your hands on a 90-minute timed ticket in April, set your alarm and start refreshing the museum’s online ticket page at 10 am JST on February 1.
Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane)
Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow includes a lot of paintings, sculpture, and installations, but just one infinity room. The whole exhibition is free, and there are no tickets specially designated for the infinity room; instead, the museum provides a dedicated space where people form a line for “Soul under the moon.” The museum’s press office told Hyperallergic that the wait times fluctuate, with an average of about 40 minutes (an hour during peak times).
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, Denmark)
If you’re in Denmark, or willing to travel, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art may be your best bet for seeing an Infinity Room sans waiting in line. According to Katrine Mølstrøm, Head of Membership & Visitor Services, the museum is fairly calm in the winter: “On weekdays there is no waiting line for the Kusama room – on weekends there may be a short line, no longer that 10-15 mins.” She does note, however, that the lines may get get longer when the museum opens its Picasso exhibition on February 1. There is no pre-booking or time slots, and entrance into “Gleaming Lights of the Souls” is first come first served, so don’t dawdle; start planning your trip now!
Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh)
For those on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, if you’re looking for the quickest wait, look no further than Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory, which has two Kusama rooms in its permanent collection, “Infinity Dots Mirrored Room” and “Repetitive Vision.” Katie Urich, the museum’s Marketing + Communications Manager, says: “On quiet days during the week, there is a wait time of zero minutes – just stroll right in! On weekends, visitors may wait up to 20 minutes. No special tickets or reservations are required, and there is no limit to time spent in the installation.”
Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix)
For those on the West Coast, you may want to head for the Phoenix Art Museum, where “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” is on view permanently. Margaree Bigler, the museum’s Public Relations and Digital Communications Manager, says the Kusama requires no “additional ticketing (timed or otherwise). We very rarely have a wait to get into the room (it has only happened a few times in the last two years) and people can generally walk in and out of the room freely. On the rare occasions we do have a line to get in, the line moves pretty quickly.”
Later this year: Infinity Mirrors travels to the Cleveland Museum of Art in July (ticket information coming in late February), before finishing off the year at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.