INFINITY-NETS (GMBKA)

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    David Zwirner, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2013

  • Catalogue Essay

    “In front of paint brushes and canvas, my hands react to them and make my work before I think of anything. Then, when the piece is completed, I look at it, and am surprised by the result—always.” - Yayoi Kusama

    INFINITY-NETS (GMBKA) presents the viewer with a glittering black canvas adorned by a meticulously applied web of golden-orange. Rendered in congregations of varying density, the individually painted linesgenerate an entrancing optical sensation as they expand and contract across the large canvas with a steady pulse. From afar, the repeated iterations of a single touch of the brush establish a spellbinding sense of pictorial space. Upon closer examination, the incessant quality of this calculated gesture reveals a dizzying, labour-intensive technique that envelops both the viewer and the artist in the concept of the infinite.

    Created approximately 60 years after she began her expansive Infinity Nets series, INFINITY-NETS (GMBKA) exemplifies the contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s most celebrated and best-known motif. Employing a unique framework that has become instantly identifiable to her practice, Kusama’s obsessive exploration of Infinity Net variations harkens back to the artist’s well-documented childhood hallucinations. Born in 1929 in Matsumoto City, Japan, Kusama’s crucial years of early adolescence passed while the country was still at war. It was during this time that the artist began to experience vivid hallucinations of rhythmic patterns that engulfed her field of vision. As dots and semicircles would “envelop [her], clinging to [her] arms and legs and clothes and filling the entire room”, Kusama refigured her kaleidoscopic neurosis into ceaseless art marking, deliberately representing its startling sensory effects in her practice. (Yayoi Kusama, quoted in Marie Laurberg, Deep Surfaces: Yayoi Kusama In Infinity, Humblebaek, 2015, p. 12).

    Now considered to be at the core of Kusama's artistry and person, her Infinity Nets series was born after the artist arrived in New York in the 1950s, seeking artistic freedom from the conventions of her native Japan. In being introduced to New York’s avant-garde scene, Kusama found inspiration in the action paintings of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, as well as the meditative qualities found in the work of Donald Judd and Frank Stella (who both acquired her paintings during this time). These early net paintings, described by the artist as “a white net of nothingness composed of an astronomical aggregation of connected dots [that] will obliterate me and others, and the whole of the universe”, laid the foundations of her iconic style. Openly displaying the process of their making, Kusama's repetitions portray the artist’s technical facility and stamina. Working for 40 or 50 hours without taking a break, Kusama would lose herself in her practice, as her dots and nets arose from a desire to subsume individual ego and obliterate the self.

    Expanding her palette to include vibrant colours, INFINITY-NETS (GMBKA) represents a mature, archetype work from the artist’s oeuvre rendered in acrylic paint instead of oil – a pivotal transition that Kusama undertook in the late 1970s. This transition also signifies Kusama’s return to a water-based medium, having employed traditional Japanese nihonga watercolour to compose the series’ earlier works. While Kusama has worked across a widely diverse media during the many distinctive phases in her career, her fundamental methodology of obsessive patterning, as seen in the present work, retains a remarkable consistency that has carried through her practice.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「在畫筆和畫布面前,我的手自然對它們做出反應,我什麼都還沒想就在創作作品了。然後,當作品完成之後,我看著它,並對結果感到驚訝——總是如此。」——草間彌生

    《無限之網 (GMBKA)》向觀者展現了一張金橙色的網精心繪製於黑色為底之畫面上。以不同密度構成,每一個單獨畫上去的點隨著穩定的脈動在大幅的畫布上擴張和收縮,生成一種迷人的視覺感官。從遠處看,畫筆下每一個觸點的不斷重複形成一種魅惑人心的圖像空間。走近看時,這種精心編排的姿態所具有的連綿不絕之特質顯示了一種令人眼花瞭亂、費神勞力的技巧,將觀者和藝術家包裹在無限這一概念之中。

    創作於她開始其龐大的《無限之網》系列的60年之後,《無限之網 (GMBKA)》是當代藝術家草間彌生最具盛名和為人熟知的主題典範之作。採用了一個能讓人立即辨識出是她的創作的框架,草間彌生對《無限之網》不同變化的癡迷探索,可以追溯到藝術家仔細紀錄的童年幻覺。1929年出生於日本松本市,草間彌生的青春期的關鍵歲月是在仍處於戰時的日本度過的。正是在這個時期藝術家開始體驗生動的幻覺,幻象中充滿節奏感的圖案將她的視野吞沒。由於圓點和半圓「包裹著她,纏繞著她的手臂、腿和衣服,並且充滿了整個房間」,草間彌生將她被幻象圍繞的精神病症轉換為源源不斷的藝術創作,並特意在她的作品中表現這種驚人的感官效果。(草間彌生,引自瑪麗·勞爾伯格《深層的平面:無限之中的草間彌生》,胡姆勒拜克,2015年,第12頁)。

    如今被視為草間彌生的藝術和本人的核心所在,她的《無限之網》系列誕生在藝術家於1950年代為尋求藝術自由,離開故土日本的傳統束縛來到紐約之後。面對紐約的前衛藝術圈,草間彌生在傑克遜·波洛克和威廉·德·庫寧的行動繪畫,以及唐納德·賈德和弗蘭克·斯特拉(賈德和斯特拉當時均購買了她的繪畫)的冥想特質作品中汲取靈感。這些早期的網之繪畫,被藝術家稱為「由連結在一起的點;如天體聚合所組成的;虛無的白色網,它將把我和其他人,還有整個宇宙都毀滅」,為她的標誌性風格奠定了基礎。公開展示自己創作的過程,草間彌生的重複展現了藝術家在技巧上的實力和耐力。連續工作40至50小時不眠不休,草間彌生往往迷失在她的創作之中,而她的點和網則在她對個人自我放逐和對消融的渴望之中冉冉升起。

    將色調擴展到鮮麗的色彩,《無限之網 (GMBKA)》代表了藝術家使用壓克力顏料取代油畫顏料進行創作的成熟之作。這一轉變也標誌著草間彌生已經回歸以水為基底的媒材,而她早前也曾採用傳統日本畫(Nihonga)水彩來創作這一系列的作品。僅管草間彌生在其藝術生涯的許多不同階段曾使用極其多元的媒介進行創作,她那如強迫症圖案的基本法,正如本件作品中所看到的,在她的創作中一直保持著非凡的一致性。

    在她1989年於昆士蘭美術館舉辦「日本方式,西方方法」展覽的藝術家自述中,草間彌生寫道:「如果在100年之後還有一個人看我的作品,並為之打動,我就必須為那一個人繼續創作。」(草間彌生,引自克里斯·賽恩斯,《草間彌生:人生是彩虹之心》,新加坡,2017年,第9頁)。在接下來的幾十年裏,她在世界五大洲的許多展覽都吸引了創紀錄的觀展人數,將她的藝術帶給數百萬的美術館觀者。除了成為第一位獲此殊榮的藝術家,不論男性還是女性,於2013年在享有盛譽的威尼斯雙年上的日本館舉辦個展,草間彌生還在墨西哥城、里約、首爾、台灣和智利舉辦過大型個展,以及在美國和歐洲的主要巡迴展覽。作為我們這個時代無庸置疑最傑出的日本女性藝術家,草間彌生受到國際上的廣泛認可,證明了她作為當代藝術先驅人物的地位。

  • Artist Bio

    Yayoi Kusama

    Japanese • 1929

    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 octogenarian who still lives—somewhat famously—in a psychiatric institution in Tokyo and steadfastly paints in her immaculate 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. 

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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN COLLECTION

INFINITY-NETS (GMBKA)

2013
signed, titled and dated '"GMBKA INFINITY-NETS" YAYOI KUSAMA 2013' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
162 x 131 cm. (63 3/4 x 51 5/8 in.)
Painted in 2013, this work is accompanied by a registration card issued by the artist's company.

Estimate
HK$6,000,000 - 8,000,000 
€686,000-914,000
$769,000-1,030,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 24 November 2019