Yayoi Kusama - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'I love pumpkins…. My desire to create works of pumpkins still continues. I have enthusiasm as if I were still a child.' —Yayoi Kusama 2015

    Growing up surrounded by a seed nursery, owned by her family in her native Japan, the pumpkin has accompanied Yayoi Kusama since childhood. Driven by obsessive compulsions, she first engaged with the pumpkin through hallucination, when the simple plump vegetable spoke to her from the vine. This formative experience grew to become an extension of herself, as her saviour became her creativity, using art to relieve her illness.

     

     

    The pumpkin is to Kusama what the soup can is to Warhol: an everyday object elevated to art, that captures their vision and skill. The pumpkin first appeared in Kusama’s work in 1946, when she exhibited Kaboch (Pumpkin) in a travelling exhibition in Nagano and Matsumoto, Japan. She has made tiny pumpkins no bigger than a key ring, and monumental pumpkins that dwarf the viewer with their scale. It has become her identifier, the image for which she is most well-known, both as allegory and a form of self-portraiture.

     

    Exhibition catalogue for Yayoi Kusama at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 27 January to 19 March, 2000

     

    Pumpkin (Green) was produced alongside Kusama’s seminal exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries in London in 2000. Delicately placed dots build the form of the vegetable, which is surrounded by the thinly laced web of infinity net within a black abyss. The simple yet complex image embodies the artist’s aesthetic practice, occupying a special place in her iconography.

     

    Notable institutes have acquired many different versions of Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin such as the Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan, where the first and largest pumpkin sculpture stands. Kusama has had ground-breaking exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and exhibited at the XLV Esposizione International d’Art 1993: La Biennale di Venezia, Punti Cardinali dell’Arte. Her current Infinity Mirror Rooms exhibition at Tate Modern, through June 2022, has been continuously sold out.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the publisher by the present owner at the time of publication

    • Literature

      Yayoi Kusama 300

    • Artist Biography

      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. 

      View More Works

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Pumpkin 2000 (Green) (K. 300)

2000
Screenprint in colours, on Colorplan paper, with full margins.
I. 30 x 35.1 cm (11 3/4 x 13 7/8 in.)
S. 48.2 x 64.1 cm (18 7/8 x 25 1/4 in.)

Signed, titled, dated and numbered 6/100 in pencil (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by The Serpentine Gallery, London, framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for £47,880

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022