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Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more Five Works from an Important Private Asian Collection
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929)

Nets 41

Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929)
Nets 41
signed, titled and dated 'yayoi Kusama 1997 Nets 41' (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
12 ½ x 16 1/8in. (31.8 x 41cm.)
Painted in 1997
Jean Art Center, Seoul.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2005.
Seoul, Jean Art Center, Yayoi Kusama, 2005 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
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Post lot text
This work is registered under no. 1997 and is accompanied by a registration card issued by the artist’s studio.

Lot Essay

With their mesmerising surface patterns, Infinity Nets and Nets 41 are beautiful examples of the definitive body of work that precipitated Yayoi Kusama’s meteoric rise to critical acclaim. First conceived upon her arrival in New York in the late 1950s, the Infinity Nets series has been a constant throughout her celebrated oeuvre. Though initially conceived as an elegant riposte to the gesturalism that dominated the New York art scene, the cosmic sublimity of these vast compositions positioned Kusama as heir to the all-over abstract practices of Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman. In the subtle, shifting surfaces of the Infinity Nets, Kusama evokes an unfathomable and transcendent space. The seemingly infinite field of dots constitutes the single most important motif in Kusama’s oeuvre, inspired by the hallucinatory visions that the artist suffered from about the age of ten. She described being struck by haunting visions of vast proliferations of 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). Alternately suggesting the vastness of the cosmos or the infinitesimal forms of cells or atoms, Kusama’s dots are the ultimate ciphers 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 as the tour de force of her oeuvre and the ultimate embodiment of her unique aesthetic.

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