A sculpture by world-renowned contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan) has been installed in the lobby of Cleveland Clinic Children’s on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. The fiberglass-reinforced plastic sculpture, titled PUMPKIN, is a bold addition and significant gift donated by Robert M. Kaye, former chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Arts & Medicine Leadership Board.
“We are delighted to share this spectacular piece of art with our patients, visitors and caregivers,” said Francois Bethoux, M.D., medical director of Cleveland Clinic’s Arts & Medicine Institute. “Mr. Kaye’s continued support and generosity helps advance our mission to promote health and healing through art. Through the Arts & Medicine Institute, our goal is to provide an optimal experience during the time spent in our facility, as well as to enhance the lives of all those we touch.”
An avant-garde sculptor, painter, and performance artist, Kusama is recognized around the world for her iconic polka dots, organic shapes, and optical environments. She created PUMPKIN in 2014, though pumpkin shapes have appeared in her work since her early art studies in Japan in the 1950s.
In discussing her work, Kusama at times will address how living with a mental health illness influences her work. In several media interviews she has shared that since childhood she has frequently experienced hallucinations and sees the world covered in proliferating forms. Creating art has enabled her to overcome these illnesses.
She has exhibited widely in international solo and group exhibitions, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Calif..; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.; National Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minn.; Whitney Museum of American Art, N.Y.