Yayoi Kusama - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • In Morning is Here A-E, Yayoi Kusama partners a mug embossed with the words “Love Forever 2004” overlayed with a field of monochromatic dots in five versions. “Love Forever” seems to be a phrase for which Kusama holds fondness. In 1998, The Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organized an exhibition titled “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958-1968” investigating the decade she spent living and creating in New York City. The exhibition’s poster featured the artist holding buttons in front of her eyes that read “Love Forever,” originally fashioned to be handed out at the opening of Kusama’s Peep Show in 1966. The exhibition, as well as the phrase, highlighted the longevity of Kusama’s work, remaining every bit as bizarre and as mystifying as it was in her earliest days.1 Kusama’s choice to include the year she created Morning is Here just below “Love Forever” emphasizes her continued endurance as one of contemporary art’s most significant artists. 2004 was a significant year for Kusama, being the year The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo organized an exhibition titled “Yayoi Kusama: Eternity-Modernity,” her most-comprehensive retrospective to date. Such a major exhibition led to an influx of interest in acquisitions by museums and collectors; that same year, her infinity mirror room Fireflies on the Water was featured in the Whitney Biennale, increasing her international recognition. Though Kusama had shown extensively throughout her career, the 2000s marked the beginning of what would become a world-wide obsession with the eccentric artist. 


    Kusama is well known for signature polka-dot motif, which fills the picture plane in this vibrant set of five screenprints. At a young age, she experienced hallucinations of bright lights, spots, and obliterating patterns and sought to capture them through art in an attempt to subdue them. Later, she came to call this ‘psychosomatic art’, a coping mechanism to alleviate her mental state. Kusama’s obsession with dots evokes a child-like playfulness masking a darker, psychedelic experience, their repetition transporting the artist’s mind to a calmer, more meditative state. This same repetitive act is notable in the prints themselves of Morning is Here A-E. In creating five different iterations of the mug surrounded by polka-dots—some even adorn the saucer beneath—Kusama perpetuates her need for replication just as one might find comfort sipping coffee from a mug in their morning routine. With the words “Love Forever,” Kusama promises an eternity of comfort veiled in the continual obligation of the dots, an echo of her past and a constant of her present.  



    1 “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958-1968,” The Museum of Modern Art, 1998. 

    • Provenance

      Christie’s, South Kensington, Prints & Multiples, July 18, 2007, lot 457

    • Literature

      Yayoi Kusama 332-336

    • 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.

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Morning is Here A-E (K. 332-336)

The complete set of five screenprints in colors, on Arches paper, with full margins.
all I. 6 1/4 x 9 in. (15.9 x 22.9 cm)
all S. 9 1/2 x 12 1/4 in. (24.1 x 31.1 cm)

All signed, titled in Japanese, dated, lettered 'A-E' respectively and annotated 'H.C.' in pencil (from the edition of 11 hors commerce impressions, the edition was 95 and 13 artist's proofs), published by TOKI-NO-WASUREMONO, Takeda Bijyutsu, Tokyo, all framed.

Full Cataloguing

$15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for $48,260

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023