Our cover this month, Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin (1991)” (87/8 in. by 61/4 in.), sold for approximately $46,875 at Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale in London on June 28, 2016. Kusama’s works transcend many mediums—her art runs the gamut from sculptures, paintings and collages to performance art and installations. The mirror/infinity room installations, which accommodate only one viewer inside at a time, are traveling exhibitions that never fail to attract long queues and crowds worldwide. Her most recent exhibition in London, “All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins,” featured a mirrored room full of pumpkins, not unlike the one on our cover.
Appreciators of Kusama quickly realize that reoccurring polka dots are a trademark of her work (see this month’s image). The psychedelic and avant-garde aesthetic of her creations, which have influences of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art and abstract expressionism, is what continues to make Kusama’s art so popular.
A 2012 article in The Economist reported that Kusama’s work has the highest turnover of any living woman; in April 2016, Artnet ranked her as the second most expensive living female artist, based on prices commanded at auction.
Those of us who don’t quite have the budget to acquire a piece of her artwork may have been able to get our hands on some items from her coveted 2012 collaboration with Louis Vuitton. There’s always a selfie (see mine) at one of her installations for the rest.