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Five Artworks by Yayoi Kusama Sell at Sotheby’s Auction for Nearly $23 Million

Yayoi Kusama Portrait

Yayoi Kusama wax model at Louis Vitton for 2012 collection unveiling. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has become a household name, and it's no wonder why. Her unique vision of immersive installations and polka-dot-covered objects cannot be mistaken for anyone else, and to this day, her exhibitions are among the most visited around the world. Recently, the 94-year-old artist made another landmark accomplishment, with five of her artworks selling for a total of $22.9 million at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong. These prices are among the highest paid for Kusama's art throughout her long career.

The auction took place on Wednesday, April 5, and is the first time works of these kinds were sold in a public auction in Asia. Among the purchased pieces was Pumpkin (L), a massive bronze pumpkin sculpture, embellished with Kusama's signature polka dots, which was created in 2014. This work alone went for $7.98 million to an anonymous phone bidder. Similarly, a pumpkin painting, titled A-Pumpkin, was sold for an impressive $7 million.

However, the most unusual work to be sold at this auction was My Heart is Flying to the Universe, made in 2018—this is in a similar vein to her Infinity Mirror Rooms which are exhibited around the globe. It features a mirrored box with LED lighting and a small opening for viewers to peer inside. The final price for this piece was $3.29 million, and while that is impressive, it is also notable for being the first work of this kind to be sold at a public auction in Asia.

For now, Kusama's record-high auction purchase of $10.9 million for her Infinity Nets is unbroken, but we are sure to see more impressive feats in the near future.

Five artworks by Yayoi Kusama were sold at an art auction in Sotheby's for a total of about $23 million.


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h/t: [Art News]

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Yayoi Kusama’s New Exhibition ‘One With Eternity’ Opens in D.C.

Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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