Yayoi Kusama - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | Phillips
  • Provenance

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

  • Exhibited

    New York, David Zwirner, Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love, May 9 - June 13, 2015, p. 47 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., 2017, pl. 58, p. 31 (illustrated, p. 181)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Painted in 2015, the present work reflects renowned artist Yayoi Kusama’s continued investigation of the compulsive nature of her being and the quasi-psychedelic manner in which she is able to publicly relate her experiences through painting. She traces the roots of her distinctive repetitive style back to her traumatic childhood, when she began to experience a specific series of hallucinations. As Kusama has said, “I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art. I followed the thread of art and somehow discovered a path that would allow me to live.” (Yayoi Kusama, quoted in Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, London, 2013, p. 60)

    These psychological undertones are palpable in a series of paintings begun in 2009 titled My Eternal Soul, to which the present lot belongs. Featuring a vibrant spectrum of colors and abstract, organic forms, these large-scale paintings are all-encompassing. Painted in fluorescent orange with cerulean blue designs and black polka dots, Far End of Disappointment creates a dynamic, optical effect which, as Mika Yoshitake declares, “reveals Kusama’s tremendous capacity to access her body memory. With lack of premeditation and her practice of letting her hand lead the way, she has, in phenomenological terms, trained her body to acquire its own sense of memory, which is cumulative and gradual in character and thus thrives on repetition” (Mika Yoshitake, “Infinity Mirrors: Doors of Perception” in Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., 2017, p. 31). Indeed, the repeated motifs of cilia-like forms in this work can be traced back to earlier works in the artist’s prolific oeuvre, which have become even more prevalent in her recurring visual vocabulary in recent years. Recently exhibited at David Zwirner in an exhibition of paintings and sculpture called Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love in 2015, and illustrated in the monograph accompanying the celebrated 2017 exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn Museum, the present lot is a testament to the hallmarks of the artist’s renowned painting practice, one that is ongoing and ever more relevant.

  • 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


Far End of Disappointment

signed, titled and dated "FAR END OF DISAPPOINTMENT [in English and Japanese] YAYOI KUSAMA 2015" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
76 3/8 x 76 3/8 in. (194 x 194 cm.)
Painted in 2015, this work is accompanied by a registration card issued by the Yayoi Kusama studio.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $555,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2018