Yayoi Kusama - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Sunday, November 8, 2015 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Robert Miller Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, Denver
    Christie's, New York, Post-War and Contemporary Art Morning Session Including Works from the Collection of Michael Crichton, May 12, 2010, lot 226
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I love painting so much that nothing else matters.” Yayoi Kusama

    Forming a part of Yayoi Kusama’s signature Infinity Nets series, this expansive canvas immediately immerses the viewer in its looping, undulating forms. Each ring of paint varies organically and ever so slightly from those that it precedes and follows, which continue to loop infinitely through the space. The endless circles of paint which cover the surface of the painting create a mesmerizing tension between the bounded and the limitless, the finite and the infinite.

    The first Infinity Net in this series was produced in 1958, and Kusama has returned to and reformulated this pivotal theme throughout her career, working in New York and Tokyo. Kusama articulates the infinity nets through her paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculpture. The motif of the continuous, all-encompassing net frequently appears in her work, depicting our infinite universe, restrained solely by the physical constraints of canvas, paper, and other media. The viewer both observes the net objectively and is engulfed in the net subjectively, comprehending Kusama’s own vision of infinity as one that is trapped, not free.

    A visionary artist, Kusama suffers from a nervous condition that plays a role in shaping her worldview and, in turn, the art she produces. Often labeled as psychedelic, hypnotic, and hallucinatory, Infinity Net paintings serve to transport us into Kusama’s frame of consciousness. Individually achieved, meticulous loops in varying shades of white and pinkare juxtaposed against the larger picture of repetitive movement. This dynamic motion seems to have a unique rhythm that is not easily traceable across the surface of the painting. Our eyes are drawn across the work, as different points of interest rise and fall, catching our itinerant attention. The viewer feels boundless and confined at once, mesmerized by the repetitive brush strokes which seem to surround us, leaving no escape from the Infinity Net. Though constrained by the borders of the canvas, the net gives the viewer a sense of the work expanding beyond its frame, wall and gallery space, and outwards into our world and cosmic universe. In this way, both the miniscule part and the greater whole are crucial to the Infinity Net and serve to make these nets inspire awe in each viewer.

  • Artist Biography

    Yayoi Kusama


    Named "the world's most popular artist" in 2015, it's not hard to see why Yayoi Kusama continues to dazzle contemporary art audiences globally. From her signature polka dots—"fabulous," she calls them—to her mirror-and-light Infinity Rooms, Kusama's multi-dimensional practice of making art elevates the experience of immersion. To neatly pin an artistic movement onto Kusama would be for naught: She melds and transcends the aesthetics and theories of many late twentieth century movements, including Pop Art and Minimalism, without ever taking a singular path.


    As an nonagenarian who still lives in Tokyo and steadfastly paints in her studio every day, Kusama honed her punchy cosmic style in New York City in the 1960s. During this period, she staged avant-garde happenings, which eventually thrust her onto the international stage with a series of groundbreaking exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in the 1980s and the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993. She continues to churn out paintings and installations at inspiring speed, exhibiting internationally in nearly every corner of the globe, and maintains a commanding presence on the primary market and at auction.

    View More Works


Infinity Nets OPRT

acrylic on canvas
76 x 76 in. (193 x 193 cm)
Signed, titled and dated "OPRT Yayoi Kusama 2004 INFINITY NETS" on the reverse.

$700,000 - 900,000 

Sold for $1,325,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 8 November 2015 7pm