North Carolina Museum Takes Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room Off View After a Mirror Panel Is Damaged

Yayoi Kusama‘s “Infinity Room” installations have become a hit with museum- and gallery-goers, drawing massive crowds around the world. But one place Kusama’s art won’t generate long lines and lots of attention, at least for now, is the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, which has taken an “Infinity Room” off view for the rest of 2023 after it was damaged, according to the News & Observer.

The installation, titled Light of Life (2018), is held by the museum in its permanent collection. Like other, similar works by Kusama, this one has an array of mirrors and lights that throw viewers’ reflections across its space, causing their images to multiply.

Light of Life has been a hit at the museum, with the museum reporting that it helped a 2018 exhibition of light and sound installations bring in more than 100,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular presentations ever staged at the institution.

Per the News & Observer, on April 30, a museum worker “accidentally hit” one of the piece’s mirror panels with a floor scrubber as the work was being cleaned. The museum will now have to create a new panel for the work, a process that is expected to cost $12,000 when manufacturing and shipping costs are counted in.

It wasn’t clear when the work would return to the galleries, but museum officials have reportedly stated that it will not be on view for the remainder of the year.

Kusama recently made headlines for an entirely different reason when a San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presentation of her art led some to resurface anti-Black phrases from her 2003 autobiography. The 94-year-old artist apologized, writing, “I deeply regret using hurtful and offensive language in my book.”