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signed and dated ‘YAYOI KUSAMA 1991’; titled in Japanese (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
72.7 x 60.6 cm. (28 5⁄8 x 23 7⁄8 in.)
Painted in 1991
Whitestone Gallery
Private Collection, Asia

This work is accompanied by the registration card issued by the artist’s studio.
Special notice
Where Christie’s has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie’s therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party who agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. If there are no other higher bids, the third party commits to buy the lot at the level of their irrevocable written bid. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. Lots which are subject to a third party guarantee arrangement are identified in the catalogue.

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Ada Tsui (徐文君) Vice President, Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Painted in 1991, Pumpkin presents one of the most iconic motifs that is so dear to Yayoi Kusama’s heart in a rare cobalt green colour. Decorated with a myriad of dots against the contrasting infinity net background, the electric green, slender pumpkin stands solemnly at the centre of this work. Among the many whimsical, colourful variations of gourds and squashes in Kusama’s oeuvres, Pumpkin bears a special cultural reference to the artist’s roots. In Japanese, green (midori) is an auspicious colour representing the energy of growth and vitality in its traditional culture, just as red is in its Chinese counterpart. Pumpkin from 1991 is also one of the three green pumpkins that have appeared in auction in the past three years.

Kusama’s obsession with pumpkins dates back to her childhood. The artist has since been captivated by the bulbous form after her visits to plant nurseries with her grandfather, as the artist once said “I adore pumpkins. As my spiritual home since childhood, and with their infinite spirituality, they contribute to the peace of mankind across the world and to the celebration of humanity. And by doing so they make me feel at peace. Pumpkins bring about poetic peace in my mind. Pumpkins talk to me.”

Continue to thrive with her infinite sequence of colours and polka dots, Yayoi Kusama held two major exhibitions in Gropius Bau, Berlin and New York Botanical Garden in 2021, with yet another major retrospective to come in M+ Hong Kong in 2022-2023.

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