signed and dated ‘Yayoi Kusama 1980’ (lower right)
collage, pastel, gouache, ink on paper
65.4 x 51.5 cm. (25 ¾ x 20 ¼ in.)
Executed in 1980
Private collection, Asia
This work is accompanied by a registration card issued by the artist’s studio.
Sale room notice
Please note that the estimate for Lot 401 should be HK$250,000-550,000.

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Sylvia Cheung
Sylvia Cheung

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Lot Essay

Yayoi Kusama is known for her iconic imagery of polka dots and pumpkins. But in the 1980s, she also created a series of rare collages. Within her lines and dots, she embeds a photograph of an animal or plant - sometimes a bird, a rat or leaves - as if to limit the view to a small space, or to look out from the window to the outside world.

A few years before the creation of the series, Yayoi Kusama was diagnosed with a mental condition and hospitalised for treatment. In Life, one can feel her yearning for freedom. The series also pays tribute to the avant-garde artist Joseph Cornell. Cornell's surrealistic multi-media sculptures had a profound influence on Kusama, and the two had a close relationship until Cornell's death. In this collage, one can also find the Cornellian frame, dotted with Kusama's iconic pattern.

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