Yayoi Kusama - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, September 14, 2022 | 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 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.



    Pumpkin 2000 (Green) and Pumpkin MT epitomize Kusama’s aesthetic practice: the flattened forms rendered in bright, unmixed pigment convey a decorative naivety which harks back to the childhood experiences that she draws on in her creative process. This is combined with the intricacy of the delicately placed dots through which she builds the form of her pumpkins, and the thinly laced webs of infinity net within a black abyss which serve as the background for each work. Upon viewing Kusama’s Infinity Net paintings in 1959, the minimalist artist Donald Judd remarked ‘the effect is both complex and simple’, an equilibrium that the artist has consistently and successfully maintained throughout her oeuvre.

    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 Kabocha (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. Kusama’s appreciation for the pumpkin is perhaps most clearly stated through the title of one of her celebrated Infinity Rooms, All the Eternal Love I have for Pumpkins (2016), in which visitors are immersed in her pumpkin-filled visions. The pumpkin has become Kusama’s identifier, the image for which she is most well-known, both as allegory and a form of self-portraiture.


    Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro | All the Eternal Love I have for Pumpkins 360°


    Notable institutes have acquired many different versions of Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkins such as the Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan, where one of the largest pumpkin sculptures 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, extended through September 2022 due to popular demand, has been continuously sold out.

    • Provenance

      Bloomsbury Auctions, London, Editions and Works on Paper, 2 July 2015, lot 232
      Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

    • Literature

      Yayoi Kusama 257

    • 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 MT (K. 257)

Screenprint in colours, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 44.2 x 36.5 cm (17 3/8 x 14 3/8 in.)
S. 59.3 x 50 cm (23 3/8 x 19 5/8 in.)

Signed, titled, dated and annotated 'P.P.' in pencil (one of 5 printer's proofs, the edition was 110 and 11 artist's proofs), framed.

Full Cataloguing

£30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for £52,920

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14 - 15 September 2022