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YAYOI KUSAMA
(Japanese, B. 1929)
Property from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Hamada
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929)

YAYOI KUSAMA

Details
YAYOI KUSAMA
(Japanese, B. 1929)
paper
1950s

Lot Essay

Mr. Katsunori & Mrs. Sayoko Hamada became enamoured by Yayoi Kusama's works with their first acquisition, Handbag (Lot 7183) about 25 years ago. Over the past two decades, the couple has amassed an important collection of early works by Kusama executed primarily on paper from the mid-1950s to early 1980s, which grew alongside their family and children who are now in their mid-20s.

Captivated by the gestures of the artist's brushstrokes and the intimacy in these works, the Hamadas have built a collection that keenly capture the artist's journey between figurative and abstraction, dream and reality.

During the early 1950s, Kusama created thousands of works on paper based on her hallucinations - mostly abstract with motifs that suggest life, growing, transforming and proliferating, such as seeds, flowers, microcosmic organisms, and sperm-like forms. Many are distinctively patterned - the dots and nets for which she is best known for arises here. During a falling out with her mother before she left for New York, Kusama destroyed thousands of works on a riverside outside her family's home, determined to start afresh.

The works from this period in the Hamada Collection represent highly personal and prized works of the artist amongst the surviving group that she brought to New York. "Those pieces I saved were excellent pieces that already showed some signs of dots and infinity netsK [They] reflect the great depth of my inner heart. They represent an assertion of denial, or a negative, while my white Infinity Nets are an expression of a positive," Kusama asserted.

Lemon Tea (Lot 403) offered in the Day Sale was a recent addition, and is the only canvas work in the collection. The vibrant, optimistic colours in Summer Night (Lot 7182) engage a sensorial effect of enigmatic rhythm that is at once fragile, organic yet uninhibited. From the 1950s to 1980s, Kusama uses vibrant fluorescent colours offset by jet black background with nets and dots that create a near hallucinatory effect. Though small in size, the images are vast in scale and capture the infinite.

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