Yayoi Kusama valuations

One of the most expensive living female artists, Yayoi Kusama is the woman behind the dots and the pumpkin, a free spirit and a moving Pop Art genius. Her works exhibit her fixation in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. Counted among the Top 10 living artists of 2015, she is also the first Japanese woman to receive the Praemium Imperiale, one of Japan's most prestigious honors for internationally recognized artists.

Born in Matsumoto, Nagano, into the family of a strict mother and a womanizer father, Kusama started creating art at an early age. Although her mother did not allow her to paint, art has become a form of rebellion for her. She started to study Nihonga painting at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts in 1948. However, more interested in the European and American avant-garde, she started creating abstract natural forms in watercolor, gouache and oil, primarily on paper, and staging solo exhibitions in Matsumoto and Tokyo by 1950.

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YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929) Sex-Obsession C signed 'Yayoi Kusama' in English; dated '1992'; ...
May 30, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929) Sex-Obsession C signed 'Yayoi Kusama' in English; dated '1992'; ...
May 30, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Pumpkin (HOZ) signed 'Yayoi Kusama' in English; dated '2002'; title...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) A Pumpkin YB-D numbered ‘45/120’; titled ‘A PUMPKIN YB-D’ in Englis...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Mirror Box signed ‘Yayoi Kusama’; numbered ’97/99’ (engraved on the...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Goldfish Bowl ; Shellfish ; & Depth of the Sea numbered '29/100'; t...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Pumpkin 2 dated ‘1988’ ‘94’; signed ‘Yayoi Kusama’; numbered ’10/30...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Goldfish Bowl ; Shellfish ; & Depth of the Sea numbered '29/100'; t...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929) Hat signed 'YAYOI KUSAMA'; dated '1988' '94'; numbered '13/30' (eng...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Flower (Aower) signed 'Yayoi Kusama' in English; dated '2003'; titl...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Pumpkin signed 'Yayoi Kusama' in English; dated '2003'; titled 'PUM...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Pumpkin 2 dated ‘1988’ ‘94’; signed ‘Yayoi Kusama’; numbered ’10/30...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Pumpkin 2 Dated ‘1988’ ’97’; signed ‘Yayoi Kusama’; numbered ’5/30’...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929) Pumpkin signed 'Yayoi Kusama' in English, dated '2005'; titled 'Pum...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929) Hat signed 'YAYOI KUSAMA'; dated '1988' '94'; numbered '13/30' (eng...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Flower (4) ; & Flower ( 5 ) numbered '19/30'; titled in Japanese; d...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Lemon Squash (2) ; & Lemon Squash (3) numbered '43/60'; titled in J...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B.1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B.1929) Pollen signed ‘yayoi Kusama‘ in English; titled ‘POLLEN’ in English;...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Flower (4) ; & Flower ( 5 ) numbered '19/30'; titled in Japanese; d...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Pumpkin 2 Dated ‘1988’ ’97’; signed ‘Yayoi Kusama’; numbered ’5/30’...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Mirror Box signed ‘Yayoi Kusama’; numbered ’97/99’ (engraved on the...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) A Pumpkin YB-D numbered ‘45/120’; titled ‘A PUMPKIN YB-D’ in Englis...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japan, B. 1929) Lemon Squash (2) ; & Lemon Squash (3) numbered '43/60'; titled in J...
May 29, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929) The Sea in the Evening Glow (Facing the Imminent Death) signed ‘...
May 28, 2016
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929)
YAYOI KUSAMA (Japanese, B. 1929) Cloud Considering titled in Japanese; signed 'Yayoi Kusama' and ...
May 28, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (née en 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (née en 1929) Miroirs double face avec perforations montés en cube, signés et numéro...
May 24, 2016
LOUIS VUITTON. Bangle, Yayoi Kusama, Limited Edition, "Yellow Dots Infinity PM Bangle Bracelet."
Diameter 8 cm. In the case.
May 17, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed, titled in Japanese and dated 1992 on the reverse acrylic on canvas 46 by 28 3/4 in. 11...
May 12, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed, titled and dated 2006 on the reverse acrylic on canvas 76 3/8 by 76 3/8 in. 194 by 19...
May 12, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed, titled and dated 1982 on the reverse acrylic and graphite on canvas 9 by 6 1/4 in. 22....
May 12, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed and dated 1979 ; signed, titled in Japanese and dated 1979 on the reverse gouache and felt...
May 12, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Infinity Nets signed, titled and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 2002 Infinity Nets' (...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Pumpkin A/ABC signed, titled and dated 'PUMPKIN YAYOI KUSAMA 2012 #A/ABC' ...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Yellow Dust in Dunhuang signed in English and Japanese, titled and dated '...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Infinity Nets 1959 signed twice, inscribed in Japanese 'To Ms. Sachiko Tag...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Yellow Dust in Dunhuang signed in English and Japanese, titled and dated '...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Infinity Nets signed, titled and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 2002 Infinity Nets' (...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Infinity Nets 1959 signed twice, inscribed in Japanese 'To Ms. Sachiko Tag...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow (M) signed and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 2010' (lowe...
May 11, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Pumpkin A/ABC signed, titled and dated 'PUMPKIN YAYOI KUSAMA 2012 #A/ABC' ...
May 11, 2016
Pumpkin
Pumpkin 1985 acrylic on plaster 4 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (10.2 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm) Signed and dated "Yay...
May 10, 2016
The Cosmos
The Cosmos 2002 ink and pastel on paper 15 3/4 x 12 7/8 in. (40 x 32.7 cm) Signed and dated "Yayo...
May 10, 2016
Lemon-Squash
Lemon-Squash 2004 oil on canvas 16 1/8 x 12 5/8 in. (41 x 32.1 cm) Signed and titled in English a...
May 10, 2016
Nets 19
Nets 19 1998 acrylic on canvas 21 x 25 3/4 in. (53.3 x 65.4 cm) Signed, titled and dated "Yayoi K...
May 10, 2016
INFINITY-NETS (QRTWE)
INFINITY-NETS (QRTWE) 2007 acrylic on canvas 76 3/8 x 101 7/8 in. (194 x 259 cm) Signed, titled a...
May 08, 2016
Yayoi Kusama. Object.
Pumpkin Shape in yellow padded fabric with black dots. Label marked "Dots Obsession". D...
Apr 14, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929) Nets signed, titled and dated 'Yayoi Kusama NETS 2000', titled in Japanese...
Apr 14, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929) Nets
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929) Nets signed, titled and dated 'Yayoi Kusama NETS 2000', titled in Japanese...
Apr 14, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929) Watermelon titiled in Japanese; dated '1981'; signed 'Yayoi Kusa...
Mar 25, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929) Papillon signed and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 1980' (upper left); sign...
Mar 25, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, B. 1929) Papillon signed and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 1980' (upper left); sign...
Mar 25, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed, titled and dated 2008 on the reverse acrylic on canvas 194.3 by 194.3cm.; 76 1/2 by 76 1...
Mar 15, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed and dated 1978 ; signed, titled in Japanese and dated 1978 on the reverse acrylic and meta...
Mar 15, 2016
Yayoi Kusama
signed, titled in Japanese and dated 1978 on the reverse acrylic and metallic paint on card 26.9 ...
Mar 15, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Shoes signed twice, titled twice and dated twice 'YAYOI KUSAMA 1998 SHOES'...
Mar 04, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) Shoes signed twice, titled twice and dated twice 'YAYOI KUSAMA 1998 SHOES'...
Mar 04, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929) Early Spring signed, titled and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 2004 EARLY SPRING' (on...
Mar 04, 2016
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929)
Yayoi Kusama (B. 1929) Early Spring signed, titled and dated 'Yayoi Kusama 2004 EARLY SPRING' (on...
Mar 04, 2016
Muroto Peninsula
Muroto Peninsula 1978 spraypaint on card 10 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (27.3 x 24.1 cm) Signed and dated "YA...
Feb 29, 2016
Infinity Dots
Infinity Dots 2006 acrylic on mannequin 69 x 26 x 13 1/2 in. (175.3 x 66 x 34.3 cm) Signed, title...
Feb 29, 2016

Consumed with her hallucinations, she began covering surfaces (walls, floors, canvases, and later, household objects and naked assistants) with the polka dots that would become a trademark of her work. The earliest recorded work in which she incorporated these dots was a drawing in 1939 at age 10, which depicts a Japanese woman in a kimono, believed to be her mother, covered in spots.

Overwhelmed by her parents’ “old customs and morals’ Yayoi Kusama left Japan at the age of 27 and moved to the United States. She first settled in Seattle but soon moved on to New York, the heart of what she loved. She quickly established her reputation as a leader in the avant-garde movement. During this time, she was overly productive, exhausting herself to the limit of hospitalization. By 1966, she was experimenting with room-size, freestanding installations that incorporated mirrors, lights, and piped-in music. Her closest friends were Donald Judd, Joseph Cornell and Georgia O’Keefe. She had a 10-year-long erotic but sexless relationship with Cornell, which is her only known romantic involvement. Despite using sex, nudity and abundance of phallic objects in her work, Kusama describes herself as asexual.

Forming a link between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, the “Infinity Nets” series earned her reputation in New York, when she first showed them in late-1950s. This series originated from visual hallucinations that she claims have haunted her since childhood. Her first disclosure about having hallucinatory episodes was in 1963, in an interview with the art critic Gordon Brown for WABC radio: “My nets grew beyond myself and beyond the canvases I was covering with them, […] They began to cover the walls, the ceiling, and finally the whole universe.” Another pattern Kusama had was having herself photographed with her new work, playing the role of both the subject and object. For Kusama, the body is a canvas and much of her work is based on identity or self-searching. Through the use of clothes, make-up, costumes, wigs, stereotypes and personas, Kusama both masquerades and promotes identity.

Since 1963, Kusama has continued her series of Mirror/Infinity rooms. In these complex installations, specially built rooms covered with mirrored glass and filled with neon or mirror balls, hanging on just lying around. A particularly notable mirrored installation is Kusama's "Narcissus Garden", first created in 1966 for the 33rd Venice Biennale. It consisted of hundreds of mirrored spheres that form a "kinetic carpet". As soon as the piece was installed on a lawn outside the Italian pavilion, Kusama, dressed in a golden kimono, began selling each individual sphere for 1,200 lire (US$2), until the Biennale organizers stopped her, which signifies her quirkiness greatly.

Kusama got associated with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg in the early 60s and consecutively the Pop Art movement, which she influenced greatly. She became a fixture of the New York avant-garde and later embraced the rise of the hippie culture with its aspects of peace and free love. Kusama drew public attention when she organized performance art events, in which naked participants were painted with brightly colored polka dots. In order to protest the Vietnam War, she wrote an open letter to Richard Nixon offering to have vigorous sex with him if he would stop the Vietnam War.

Apart from dots, another recurrent figure in Kusama’s work is the pumpkin, which she also used in her iconic installation at the 1993 Venice Biennale. The pumpkin came to represent her alter ego, and she says she finds pumpkins comforting since she was a child and “visually humorous”.

In 1973, Kusama returned to Tokyo in ill health and withdrew herself from the New York art scene for a while. She wrote surrealistic literature deeply relating to her inner feelings and psychology. In 1977 she checked herself into the Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill, where she eventually decided to stay permanently. Since then, she has been living at the hospital by choice, and continued to create with her studio only a short distance from the hospital in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Kusama is often quoted as saying: "If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago." Kusama continues to produce and show in exhibitions worldwide. With long queues to see her work, she broke world records for selling the most exhibition tickets. She is also the second most expensive living female artist with the sale of “White No. 28” in 2014, at Christie’s New York, which sold for $7,109,000. Before that, In November 2008, again Christie's New York sold a 1959 white "Infinity Net" painting, formerly owned by Donald Judd, for US$5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist.

What is Yayoi Kusama known for?

Although a painter and novelist, Yayoi Kusama is more of an avant-garde sculptor who uses polka dots and mirrors in many of her art installations. She became world famous for her outdoor sculptural commissions, starting with Pumpkin, which she made for the Fukuoka Municipal Museum of Art in 1994. Since then, she has travelled around the world creating similar art installations. She did Tulipes de Shangri-La for Euralille in Lille, France in 2003; Hello, Anyang with Love for Pyeonghwa Park in Anyang, in Seoul, South Korea; and The Hymn of Life: Tulips for Beverly Gardens Park in Los Angeles.

What auction houses (and galleries) have sold Yayoi Kusama items?

Many of the paintings of Yayoi Kusama were sold for millions of dollars by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The most expensive one is the 1960 White No. 28 infinity net painting that was sold in December 2014. As Kusama travelled the world for art installations and exhibitions, her work was noticed even more. Her famed masterpiece, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, was invited to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Seattle Art Museum, in Seattle, Washington, and The Broad, in Los Angeles, California. It will continue to the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada and Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio.

What is the price range of Yayoi Kusama items?

The ten most expensive paintings of Yayoi Kusama were sold between the range of $2.1 million and $7.1 million. Kusama has sold a lot of paintings over the years but her latest ones indicate how strong her following and her popularity has become. Her paintings and artworks are expected to increase more in terms of value in the years to come. 

Interesting info about Yayoi Kusama

Aside from being a well-known for her paintings and art installations, Yayoi Kusama has also staged a performance and made a film about her. In her art performance, she walked the streets of New York wearing the traditional Japanese kimono with a black umbrella serving as a parasol. As she walks, she turns and cries without reason, then disappeared from view. On the other hand, the film she produced and starred is entitled Kusama's Self-Obliteration, which won prizes in different film festivals around the world