"EACH PIECE OF WORK IS THE CONDENSATION OF MY LIFE." - YAYOI KUSAMA
Yayoi Kusama's legacy, large as it looms, is, as yet, immeasurable. She is known for her Infinity Nets and dots, two interchangeable motifs that she adopted as her alter ego, her franchise and her weapon of incursion into the world at large. Her adventure was nomadic - residence in the United States from Japan in the late 1950s, one of ebb and flow between east and west, of dialogue, exchange and rupture. The Untitled (Lot 101) and Pumpkin Green [TOWHT] (Lot 102) have a profoundly autobiographical, surreal and psychedelic quality linked to Yayoi Kusama's earliest childhood experience. They are recreations of her overwhelming visual hallucinations as a child that provides a glimpse into her eccentric and profound world vision.
The bulbous Pumpkin Green [TOWHT] is portrayed by using vibrant fluorescent contrasting colours offset by sharp black background with cobalt green nets creating a near hallucinatory quality, festooned with myriad shimmering dots and crystallizations. Her love of pumpkin stretches far back, when she first encountered one growing on its vine and it began to speak to her, "in a most animated manner". Since then she has found them to be "such tender things to touch, so appealing in colour and form", she reveals, "I would confront the spirit of the pumpkin, forgetting everything else and concentrating my mind entirely on the form before me".
In Untitled, a creature is wearing a pearl necklace. The construction of a Cubist sense of spatial depth is evocative of Pablo Picasso's portraits, as he puts "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." The rich visual optical effect is achieved here through Yayoi Kusama's reverential attention to detail, each object precisely painted with tiny dots, juxtaposed against psychedelic black and white colours. The results of both works are light and playful yet mesmerizing in its rhythmic pattern.
Aesthetic sublimation of Kusama's art leaves a black hole, impossible to fathom except by groping histories of art. Her works developed a vocabulary of biomorphic and microscopic organic forms, essentially abstract but reminiscent of stellar, aquatic of subterranean worlds.