Floor designer

MTA enlists Yayoi Kusama and Kiki Smith to create a mosaic for New York’s Grand Central Madison Terminal

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is very popular in New York.

Every time his work is shown here, i.e. New York Botanical Garden’s ‘KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature’ in 2021 and Yayoi ‘Kusama: Festival of Life’ at David Zwirner in 2017, we line up around the block and sell tickets.

From now on, millions of people will be able to see her working for free, underground.

MTA Arts & Design has announced that Kusama and figurative artist Kiki Smith have been commissioned to create floor-to-ceiling mosaics at the new Grand Central Madison Terminal. They will cover 2,400 square feet with one of them spanning 100 feet long, according to the New York Times.

What the mosaics will look like has not been disclosed, but Smith told the Time that hers would “bring to life the beauty of the eastern shores of Long Island and the light of the East River”.

“I created this artwork with the aim of giving people a beautiful image to take away with them and to give a sense of place at the station,” she told the newspaper.

In a statement, MTA Creative Director Sandra Bloodworth said Grand Central Madison should be Manhattan’s new must-visit destination.

“We’re thrilled to include the powerful and thought-provoking art of two incredible artists for anyone who walks through this new public space,” she said. “These extraordinary original works of art will become part of the fabric of the city and bring joy to all who pass through it.”

You’ll be able to see them when the new terminal opens in December, so stay tuned for what to expect.