A rare collection of artworks by truly iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama are about to go on sale at Bonhams auction house in New York.
Earlier this year it was announced that Kusama’s Covid-delayed NYBG show Kusama: Cosmic Nature will finally open on April 10. The exhibition will include a participatory greenhouse installation, large floral works, a pumpkin sculpture made specifically for the site, and her famous Infinity Rooms.
And it seems that 2021 is a year full of treats for contemporary art fans. In May, Bonhams auction house in New York will be auctioning off rare paintings and drawings by the reclusive artist.
In a statement, Bonhams auction house stated,
“This is, without doubt, the rarest group of Kusama works from the late 1950s and 1960 to ever come to auction.”
Kusama originally gave the collection to her late friend Dr Teruo Hirose. When Kusama emigrated to New York in 1957, Dr Hirose was one of only two Japanese-speaking doctors in Manhattan.
Comprised of three paintings and eight paper-works, the collection includes some of the earliest recognised works by the now-famous artist. They have never before been exhibited publicly.
Bonhams’ statement goes on to say that the artworks
“are corner stones of the artist’s practice, laying the aesthetic groundwork for her career to follow. Painted when Kusama was in her twenties, the works show the genesis of her Infinity Nets, as well as elements such as polka dots and flower imagery for which she would become known.”
Selected works will be at Bonhams Hong Kong from April 7-22. The entire collection will be available to view in New York from April 30 – May 12.
Don’t despair if you can’t make it to her shows in Hong Kong or New York. Sydney-based fans can still get their installation fix. Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama is on view at the Museum of Sydney until April 18.
The exhibit has had many manifestations over the years. It first appeared as an act of rebellion, installed on the lawn without permission at the 1966 Venice Biennale. The reflective spheres capture the audience’s image, briefly merging the viewer as part of the artwork.
The Museum of Sydney describes the exhibition as an “infinitely recurring web”;
“…the surrounding visible world is trapped and perpetuated. Evoking the mythological figure of Narcissus, this work allows viewers to see themselves and the world around them.”
Check out Narcissus Garden at:
Museum of Sydney: Saturday 20 February to Sunday 18 April.
Vaucluse House: Saturday 24 April to Sunday 23 May.
Elizabeth Bay House: From late May-late June, for SLM members only.
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