Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more CONSTRUCTING MINIMALISM: WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF MARC AND FRÉDÉRIQUE CORBIAU
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)

Infinity Nets OQWWS

Details
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Infinity Nets OQWWS
signed, titled, and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 2006 INFINITY NETS OQWWS' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
35 7/8 x 27 5/8in. (91.3 x 70cm.)
Painted in 2006
Provenance
Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
On occasion, Christie’s has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale, which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. Christie’s may choose to assume this financial risk on its own or may contract with a third party for such third party to assume all or part of this financial risk. When a third party agrees to finance all or part of Christie’s interest in a lot, it takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold, and will be remunerated in exchange for accepting this risk out of Christie’s revenues from the sale, whether or not the third party is a successful bidder. The third party may bid for the lot and may or may not have knowledge of the reserves. Where it does so, and is the successful bidder, the remuneration may be netted against the final purchase price. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. Christie’s guarantee of a minimum price for this lot has been fully financed through third parties

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Lot Essay

‘My nets grew beyond myself and beyond the canvases I was covering with them. They began to cover the walls, the ceiling, and finally the whole universe. I was always standing at the centre of the obsession, over the passionate accretion and repetition inside of me’ – Y. Kusama

Delicate layers of white impasto weave a vast, shimmering web across the surface of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity-Nets (OQWWS), veiling a hypnotic constellation of grey-white dots that quiver before our eyes. Executed in 2006, the same year that Kusama became the first Japanese woman to receive the prestigious Praemium Imperiale, it is an exquisite example of the celebrated Infinity Nets that precipitated her meteoric rise to international acclaim. With its intricate all-over pattern of dots, the work presents a spellbinding optical conundrum: an endless fluctuation of positive and negative space that seems to suggest an immense, unfathomable void situated beyond the surface of the canvas. First conceived upon her arrival in New York in the late 1950s, the Infinity Nets have been a constant throughout Kusama’s oeuvre. Though initially born as an elegant riposte to the painterly gesturalism that dominated the New York art scene at that time, the cosmic sublimity of these mesmeric compositions positioned Kusama as heir to the Abstract Expressionist practices of Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman. In the subtle, shifting surfaces of the Infinity Nets, Kusama evokes a transcendental space that lies beyond the limits of the human imagination. Alternately suggesting the vastness of the cosmos and the infinitesimal forms of cells or atoms, the complex matrix of dots stands as the ultimate cipher for the incomprehensible dimensions of infinity. First shown alongside the work of artists including Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Mark Rothko, Kusama’s Infinity Nets had a profound impact on the international art scene, presaging elements of the Minimalist movement that took hold in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, they stand among the greatest achievements of her oeuvre, representing the ultimate embodiment of her aesthetic aims.

The seemingly infinite field of dots constitutes the single most important motif in Kusama’s practice, inspired by the hallucinatory visions that the artist suffered from early childhood onwards. She described being struck by haunting apparitions of proliferating dots, nets and flowers that overwhelmed her entire being. ‘My room, my body, the entire universe was filled with [patterns]’, she recalls; ‘my self was eliminated, and I had returned and been reduced to the infinity of eternal time and the absolute of space. This was not an illusion but reality’ (Y. Kusama, quoted in L. Hoptman and U. Kultermann, Yayoi Kusama, New York 2000, p. 36). Painting obsessively, sometimes for forty or fifty hours without a break, Kusama has insisted that the process of creating the Infinity Nets is integral to the works themselves. During her early days in New York, the painstaking nature of her method allowed her to temporarily escape the physical and psychological hardship that plagued her existence. ‘Day after day I forgot my coldness and hunger by painting’, Kusama recalled (Y. Kusama, quoted in ‘Kusama Dot Com’, New York Times Style Magazine, 24 February 2008). Alongside her paintings, Kusama’s dots have come to mark her sculptures, as well as the objects in her pioneering installations, and even the bodies of the nude performers who took part in her infamous ‘happenings’ of the 1960s. ‘My nets grew beyond myself and beyond the canvases I was covering with them’, she recalls. ‘They began to cover the walls, the ceiling, and finally the whole universe. I was always standing at the centre of the obsession, over the passionate accretion and repetition inside of me’ (Y. Kusama, quoted in L. Hoptman and U. Kultermann, Yayoi Kusama, New York 2000, p. 103). In the present work, Kusama’s deeply personal vision is transformed into an expression of the diffuse nature of the human condition: a universal hymn to the infinite void that frames our existence.

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