Previously Unseen Painting by Yayoi Kusama Hits Bonhams Auction

The artwork is expected to fetch roughly $5.1m USD.

Art
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A rare and previously unseen painting by Yayoi Kusama will hit Bonhams upcoming auction in Hong Kong next week with a pre-estimate of $5,126,693 USD. Completed in 1995, Infinity measures 6.5 feet tall and depicts a constellation of tonal red dots and nets split between the two halves of the composition.

“Immersive and compelling, this artwork skillfully combines Kusama’s renowned obsessional, repetitive, and mesmerizing qualities,” wrote Bonhams in a statement. “The endlessly looping and repeating whorls serve as a key motif reused throughout her career, reflecting both her personal history and inner state. Growing up in an affluent family, Kusama was exposed to profound visual and auditory hallucinations during her childhood. These experiences have had a lasting impact on her artistic practice, driving her unwavering exploration of themes such as infinity and obliteration,” the release continued.

The division within Infinity mirrors Kusama’s journey from East to West — the patterns within the art reflecting the differences in culture, while the colors seamlessly serving as a bridge between the two. Kusama has always shown an affinity for the crimson hue she chose in the piece, famously recollecting: “One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room, my body and the universe. I felt as if I had begun to self-obliterate, to revolve in the infinity of endless time and the absoluteness of space.”

Other notable works within the sale include a Dialogue painting by Korean artist Lee Ufan and a painting from fellow Korean artist Park Seo-bo‘s Écriture series, the latter of which comes in with a pre-auction estimate of $230,701 to $358,869 USD. Bonhams Modern and Contemporary Art sale will commence in Hong Kong on May 25, 2024.

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