Jean-Michel Othoniel: The Flowers of Hypnosis - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Jean-Michel Othoniel: The Flowers of Hypnosis

Jean-Michel Othoniel: The Flowers of Hypnosis


July 18–October 22, 2023
Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Fragrance Garden, Lily Pool Terrace

French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel presents a new series of six large sculptures at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. His passion for gardens inspired him to create new works—in gold leaf and stainless steel—for three iconic outdoor spaces. It is the artist’s largest show in the United States since his retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum in 2012.

a man on a Japanese keyhole bridge is surrounded by manicured plants and reflected in the water below.

The artist selected the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden as the setting for the Gold Lotus series, works that link the spiritual to the sensory. The lotus flower symbolizes spirituality, rebirth, enlightenment, and the sacred. On Lily Pool Terrace, two gigantic mirror bead sculptures spring from the pools; the works respond to each other, enveloping the visitor in a play of multiple reflections. In the intimate Fragrance Garden, designed to stimulate the sense of smell and touch, the artist pays homage to the rose, the queen of flowers. The perfect shape of this flower has been a recurrent motif in his work, including paintings he created for the Louvre in 2019.

The exhibition is free with Garden admission.

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A graphic of a map with 3 stars in the Japanese Garden Pond, a star in the Fragrance Garden, and a star in each pool on Lily Pool Terrace
Jean-Michel Othoniel Biography

Born in 1964 in Saint-Etienne, France, Jean-Michel Othoniel has been inventing a universe with multiple contours since the late 1980s.

Othoniel has had major exhibitions all over the world. He had an important retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris entitled My Way, later shown at the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art/Plateau in Seoul and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Macao Museum of Art in Macao, and the Brooklyn Museum. Recently he exhibited in the museum and garden at Petit Palais in Paris in 2021 and at the Seoul Museum of Art in 2022.

Since his first public commission in Paris in 2000, Le Kiosque des Noctambules, Othoniel’s work has been shown equally in museums and in the public space including an exceptional project of three fountain sculptures in gilded glass in the gardens at the Château de Versailles, Les Belles Danses, and Alfa, an installation for the new National Museum of Qatar of 114 fountain sculptures. In 2019 a new series of paintings entered the permanent collection of the Louvre. His works can be found in the world’s best contemporary art museums, foundations, and private collections.

Stories from the Artist

  • A man in a navy sweater leans on a bridge in a garden.


    Jean-Michel Othoniel introduces The Flowers of Hypnosis at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

  • three gold beaded sculptures in the form of lotuses on display in a pond with a Japanese torii

    Japanese Garden

    Gold Lotus series

  • A giant gold-beaded sculpture in the form of a flower stands in the center of a formal oval lawn in a garden.

    Fragrance Garden

    Gold Rose

  • Two silver beaded sculptures in the form of giant lotuses sit amid real lotuses in reflecting pools

    Lily Pool Terrace

    Mirror Lotus

Jean-Michel Othoniel: The Flowers of Hypnosis at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The artist shares his inspirations. Video courtesy of Perrotin.


Jean-Michel Othoniel: The Flowers of Hypnosis is sponsored by DIOR as part of its Cultural Gardens initiative.


Image, top of page: Michael Stewart