Yayoi Kusama - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Phillips
  • “I love pumpkins because of their humorous form, warm feeling, and a human-like quality and form. My desire to create works of pumpkins still continues. I have enthusiasm as if I were still a child.”
    —Yayoi Kusama

    Considered Japan’s most successful living artist, it is the humble pumpkin that has become a symbol of Yayoi Kusama’s worldwide acclaim. Kusama’s obsession with the pumpkin originates from her childhood, when the artist started to experience vivid hallucinations of flowers, polka dots, mushrooms, pumpkins, and other fruits and vegetables. While Kusama was frightened by the floral figures and dots fabricated by her mental projections, she found solace and reassurance in pumpkins. At the age of 17, she made her public pumpkin debut with Kabocha (Pumpkin), a traditional Nihonga-style painting made in accordance with Japanese artistic conventions, techniques, and materials. After these inceptive artistic attempts, the pumpkin motif disappeared from Kusama’s oeuvre for decades, to then resurge in the 1970s and 1980s, following a period in which the artist focused on performance art. Her interest in pumpkins grew in the 1990s, when the motif was included in the artist’s interactive installations known as Infinity Mirror Rooms. A more recent infinity room, titled All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins (2016), enabled visitors to be fully immersed in Kusama’s pumpkin-filled visions, epitomising the artist’s adoration of her favourite motif. 



    “Pumpkins talk to me. Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. Giving off an aura of my sacred mental state. They embody a base for the joy of living, a living shared by all humankind on the earth. It is for the pumpkins that I keep going.”
    —Yayoi Kusama

    Executed in 2000, the present work showcases Yayoi Kusama’s ongoing fascination with the pumpkin and monochromatic polka dots. Iconic to the artist’s practice, the multiplicity of the dark black dots against the vibrantly flattened yellow pumpkin result in a mesmerising and hallucinatory surface, heightened by the surrounding web of geometrical black lines. A remarkable example that is archetypal of Kusama’s pumpkin motif, Pumpkin 2000 (Green)  masterfully encapsulates the artist’s obsessional focus on accumulation, repetition, and the infinite through the combination of the three pillars that define her artistic practice – dots, nets, and the pumpkin.

    “Just as Bodhidharma spent ten years facing a stone wall, I spent as much as a month facing a single pumpkin. I regretted even having to take time to sleep.” —Yayoi Kusama


    Functioning as both an allegory and a form of self-portraiture, Kusama’s pumpkins are an embodiment of optimism, serenity, and joy, and are celebrated as one of the most loved and instantly recognisable icons in contemporary art. Each of Kusama’s pumpkins radiate messages of hope, peace and love to all corners of the world, while also symbolising the artist’s triumphant status as an international sensation.

    • Provenance

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

    • Literature

      Yayoi Kusama 300

    • 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

Property from a Private London Collection


Pumpkin 2000 (Green) (K. 300)

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 28/100 in pencil (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by the Serpentine Gallery, London, framed.

Full Cataloguing

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £44,450

Contact Specialist

+44 20 7318 4091

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 7 - 8 June 2023