The DART Board: 04.28.2021

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday April 28, 2021

The New York Botanical Garden recently opened Kusama: Cosmic Nature, the first-ever comprehensive exploration of Yayoi Kusama’s fascination with the natural world throughout the Garden. The exhibition, related programs, and accompanying publication reveal Kusama’s lifelong fascination with the natural world and its countless manifestations beginning in her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery in Matsumoto, Japan. 

Viewers entering the garden are greeted by the aluminum sculpture “I Want to Fly to the Universe” (2020), above. “Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos […] when we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment,” Kusama once famously remarked when asked of her obsession with the dots, as a placard in the garden notes.  


The exhibition includes works from throughout the artist’s prolific career and multifaceted practice. Multiple outdoor installations, including monumental sculptures of flora transform the Garden’s 250-acre landscape, now populated with her signature polka-dotted organic forms and mesmerizing paintings of plants and flowers. Above: Photo by Bedatri Choudhury for Hyperallergic 

With interior access planned to begin this summer, Kusama’s new Infinity Mirrored Room will operate per New York State and City guidelines for social distancing and visitor safety. A separate timed-entry Infinity Mirrored Room ticket will be required for interior access; more information will be provided as it becomes available. 

Kusama: Cosmic Nature programs here. Visitor information and ticketing here
Kusama: Cosmic Naturecurated by Mika Yoshitake, continues through October 31 at New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY Directions



If your sofa has begun to sag, with butt-size divots marring its cozy cushions due to uncontrollable Netflixing, this one’s for you: After being closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum of the Moving Image, in Astoria, Queens,  is reopening this week. The museum has used its shutdown time to upgrade its HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, and has implemented all necessary safety precautions for visitors. Above: Film still from Fantasia, image courtesy of Tashnen 

The Redstone Theater is reopening (at 25% capacity) with a roster of screening programs, including a revival of the museum’s See It Big! series. See It Big: The Return! hopes to entice patrons reticent about returning to a theater with movies that are worth watching on the biggest screen possible. Titles include Alfred Hitchcock’s classic psychological thriller Vertigo (1958), Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi epic A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), and the Disney animated classical concert film Fantasia (1940).

Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, Queens. More info at MoMI



El Museo del Barrio recently opened Estamos Bien – La Trienal 20/21, the museum’s first national large-scale survey of Latinx contemporary art featuring more than 40 artists from across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Its title, “Estamos Bien” — “We’re fine” — was inspired by a work in the exhibition, a 2017 painting (above) by the Chicago-based Cándida Álvarez done in the wake of Puerto Rico’s devastation by Hurricane Maria. Tinged with irony, the words suggest both resilience and bitterness. And much of the work by the show’s 41 other artists is complicated in a similar way. Photo above courtesy of Cándida Álvarez and Monique Meloche Gallery

The show is El Museo’s first national survey of what it calls Latinx art, using the much-debated gender-neutral and (the museum argues) culturally embracing alternative to Latino or Latina, to describe artists of Latin American descent working primarily in the United States or the Caribbean. The museum’s original plan was to have the show coincide with, and reflect, two defining 2020 political events, the United States census and the presidential election. It missed both, but still looks plenty newsy. Immigration, racial justice and assertions of identity, ethnic and otherwise, are undying features of the national story. And the show is very much about them.

La Trienal gathers artists who are local as well as those from Florida, California, Illinois, and beyond, illustrating the geographical reach of the largest so-called “minority” in the United States. The show’s greatest contribution might be staking a claim for these widely dispersed Latinx creators.

Estamos Bien — La Trienal 20/21 continues at El Museo del Barrio (1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, Manhattan) through September 26. The exhibition was curated by Rodrigo Moura, Susanna V. Temkin, and Elia Alba.


The countdown to Arbor Day is on, with 1.5 days left before the celebrations begin. Here in Manhattan, Madison Square Park has something special for poets, writers, and artists of all ages. The horticulturalists are inviting everyone to celebrate trees by writing a handwritten letter, composing a poem, or creating a drawing for any tree you love in Madison Square Park. You may place your completed letter in one of the dropboxes located throughout the park, or share your letter on Instagram and tag @madsqparknyc. This event is sponsored by  Columbia Property Trust and Eataly.

The tree of my choice is no longer there, having succumbed to age a few years ago, so I’m including [above
] my drawing [2018] of an elegaic sculpture by Marco Palli to occupy the tree's site. @peggy.roalf Website

MAD About Jewelry: A conversation with Wilfredo Rosado 
Thu, May 6 / 5 pm ET

The Museum of Arts and Design is hosting an online conversation tomorrow evening with Wilfredo Rosado and MAD About Jewelry curator Bryna Pomp. Wilfredo will talk about his early career, working with Andy Warhol and Giorgio Armani, and the evolution of his jewelry brand, including his most recent creation made for Kamala Harris at the 2021 Inauguration. Proceeds from MAD About Jewelry will benefit participating artists and support the museum’s educational programs. All purchases will be shipped directly from the artists. MAD invites you to spread the word to fellow jewelry lovers and friends! Instagram @madmuseumjewelry. For information and to register, go here




Upcycling Detritus: Online exhibition at
Evidence suggests that early art was created by artist/shamans who protected the hunt and blessed the harvest. The power of art continues to exist in our contemporary time, a world of machines and cybernetics, and this power continues to be available for us to implement. Above: Works by Katherine Earle
Creating from discarded materials as an alternative, however, is crucial — and the most responsible decision, to extend the use of materials and reduce the abuse of materials that require the destruction of the environment. 
Sculptors Alliance presentsUp-cycling Detritus" online. To register for the panel discussion on Friday, May 7, (RSVP to  attend); you will receive a link to the online program. 



Notes from the Home Office

For over 30 years American Photography has been holding a juried competition primarily for professional photographers. The AP37 Annual book, featuring the winners, and the launch event in New York in November continues in 2021. 

But with the proliferation of so much great photography taken by everyone we are entering our fourth year of offering a competition for photo enthusiasts at all levels. You can see some of the highlights and winners from 2020  here.

And if you enter early, you stand a chance of having your images featured on Facebook, Twitter, and Flipbook. Find the CFE here See work by featured entrant Audrey Bellot here.