Yayoi Kusama


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Yayoi Kusama

Price of a painting: 9,100 – 4,9100,000 €.

Estimated value of a drawing: 840 – 343,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 220 – 42,500 €.

Estimation of a sculpture: 3,000 – 1,000,000 €.

Estimation of a ceramic: 100 – 23,100 €.

Price of an object: 80 – 186,000 €

Price of a photograph: 750 – 16 700 €.

If you would like to have a work by Yayoi Kusama appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

The journey of Yayoi Kusama

The Japanese artist was born in Matsumotoe in 1929 and decided 28 years later to move to Seattle and then to New York in 1958. She started painting small gouaches and drawings and then began to paint much larger paintings. She also developed a pronounced taste for repetition of motif, which she developed over the course of her career and had a relationship with the famous American minimalist artist Donald Judd. This bond between the two artists helped to shape their own style.

It was thanks, in particular, to an increased sense of communication that she easily integrated herself into the New York art scene, thus gaining the attention of important figures in the artistic world of the time, including Goergia O’Keeffe, with whom Yayoi already had a correspondence.

His first exhibition took place in the Brtata Gallery in New York in October 1959. There she exhibited her Infinity Net paintings with motifs dear to minimalism, such as the absence of hierarchy or composition, which marks the minimalist aesthetic. “My nets grew beyond myself and beyond the canvases I covered with them. They began to cover the walls, the ceiling and eventually the whole universe”.

The importance of the motif

The repetition of the motif soon manifests itself beyond the scale of a classical canvas to create installations made with recycled materials, furniture and found objects that it covers with fabric. She exhibited her work in 1964 at the Gertrude Stein Gallery in New York (Aggregation: one thousand boats show). Increasingly, phallic protuberances are found in her environments along with an irrepressible need for repetition, compulsive in the Freudian sense of the word, which reflects the pathological and, in a sense, curative nature of her work. The artist has moreover been interned several times in psychiatric hospitals. However, this factor should not obliterate the rest of his original work, which was rediscovered in the 1990s, giving him the status of a mythical and unavoidable artist.

Her work falls between obsessive art and the different art currents of the 1960s such as pop art, minimal art, the productions of the group Zero, body art, feminist art and psychedelic counter-culture. But these connections were momentary and detailed. She drew from different repertoires in order to create porous environments with the contemporary art of her time. Although a therapeutic dimension seems to be present in her work, it is nonetheless playful, the result of close cooperation with her assistants.

Her immersive installations have been the subject of several retrospectives, firstly at Paris’ Pompidou Centre in 2011, then at the Tate Modern in London and the Whitney Museum in New York.

Recognising Yayoi Kusama’s signature

Like many artists, Kusama did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature yayoi kusama

Appraising and selling a piece by Yayoi Kusama

If you own a piece by Yayoi Kusama or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.