Yayoi Kusama - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1958 Yayoi Kusama arrived to New York from Japan and produced her first large Infinity Nets work. Since then, her name has become firmly associated with the polka dot as Kusama has consistently reverted back to the notion of capturing infinity in art through this form of mark-making.

    What distinctly characterises all of Kusama’s Infinity Nets, is their inherent kinetic quality. The manner in which the artist varies the concentration of dots allowing them to spread away from each other or mingle closely, creates an almost hypnotic instability in her pieces. Consequently, her canvases embody an obsessive neatness and clarity, whilst also displaying an unsystematic aesthetic that seems to permit free movement within its components as the dots appear to rearrange themselves before the viewer’s eyes.

    Infinity-Nets OZEH painted in 2011 is a mature example of Kusama’s preoccupation with this subject matter. The typically large scale has an overwhelming effect and the sensation of vertigo is induced as the swirling dots seem to open up into an alternative universe – one we feel compelled to enter through this unlocked gateway. The title of this ever-growing series, hints at something altogether more ominous. Infinity Nets could suggest a form of entrapment or, alternatively, a safety net to fall back on. Perhaps this ambiguousness mirrors the artist’s creative process; Kusama is unable to detach herself from the Infinity Nets that permeate her creativity, but at the same time maybe she has found comfort in reassessing their familiar form in endless versions of the subject matter.

    The Infinity Nets are Yayoi Kusama’s most enduring legacy and it is through this inexhaustible series of works that Kusama announced her status as one of the most important Japanese artists of the twentieth century.

  • 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 (OPARHJ)

acrylic on canvas
130.5 x 130.5 cm (51 3/8 x 51 3/8 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'YAYOI KUSAMA "OPARHJ INFINITY-NETS" 2012' on the reverse.

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £530,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 14 October 2015 7pm