Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Pumpkin (S)
incised with the artist's signature 'Yayoi Kusama' (lower edge)
mirror polished bronze
26 ½ x 25 x 25 in. (67.3 x 63.5 x 63.5 cm.)
Executed in 2016. This work is number one from an edition of eight plus two artist's proofs.
Victoria Miro Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner
London, Victoria Miro Gallery, Yayoi Kusama: Sculptures, Paintings & Mirror Rooms, May-July 2016.

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Joanna Szymkowiak
Joanna Szymkowiak

Lot Essay

The pumpkin, along with the polka dot, is one of Yayoi Kusama’s central themes and in Pumpkin (S), she combines these two most important elements into a single work. Beautifully realized in highly polished bronze, the multiplicity of dark, black dots playing across the surface of the sculpture offer a striking contrast to the shine of the work’s bronze surface. The effect of the piece is elegant, hypnotic, mesmerizing, imaginative, and charming.

The monochromatic polka dots covering the entire sculptural surface of the present work articulate the artist’s career-long preoccupation with the repetition of patterns inspired by her inner visions, as she channels those hallucinatory phantasms into the obsessive formal patterns and shapes that are a signature aspect of her entire artistic output.

Kusama’s fascination with the pumpkin figure reaches back to her youth, when the artist found herself captivated by what she described as their charming form and generous unpretentiousness. The pumpkin shape is at the heart of many of Kusama’s best-known works, including the sculptures she showed at the 1993 Venice Biennale and her recent infinity mirror room installation “All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins,” attesting to the continued importance of the pumpkin figure in Kusama’s oeuvre.

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