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Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b.1929)
LOT ID: 79285
Footprints of Youth, 1978

Ink Wash / Sumi-e, Enamel, enamel on paperboard
9.6 х 10.7 in. (24.38 x 27.18 cm.)
Signed, in English and dated top left front in ink. Signed again in English and Japanese, titled in Japanese and dated again, all verso.
Lot description
"Footprints of Youth" (1978) is a rare and early original painting on paper laid on board by famed Japanese Contemporary artist, Yayoi Kusama (Japan, b. 1929) and belongs to her iconic Series of ethereal, spary enamel and ink paintings on paper from 1978-9 that all share the same dimensions and introspective titles. This series is recognized by its visually meditative versions of Kusama's famous 'Infinity Nets" pattern, with abstract patterns and lines that are blurred and overlap one another and their specific color palettes. Although Kusama's œuvre is incredibly varied, her best works are based on this pattern called "Infinity Nets"—and are among the most visually complex and conceptually provocative paintings being created. Kusama describes her Infinity Nets as a pattern "without beginning, end, or center. The entire canvas would be occupied by [a] monochromatic net. This endless repetition caused a kind of dizzy, empty, hypnotic feeling. "Footprints of Youth" measures 9.6 x 10.7 inches (24.3 x 27.3 cm), is unframed and in excellent condition. This is the first time this work has been offered at international auction, and is from a top Japanese Collection.

Kusama was born in Matsumoto City, Japan and began painting at the age of ten, as a means of escaping a childhood of neglect and expressing her early experiences with hallucinogenic visions. These apparitions consisted of dots and patterns enveloping her surroundings, suggesting issues of mental illness which have continued to strongly influence her work. Kusama's work has been widely exhibited in major museums and galleries throughout the world, and has recently been the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2012); Opera Gallery, Hong Kong, China (2012); Tate Modern, London, England (2012); the National Museum of Art Osaka, Osaka, Japan (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2011); Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2011); and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2011).
Selected Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.
National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan.
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea.
Footprints of Youth by Yayoi Kusama
  • Footprints of Youth by Yayoi Kusama
  • Footprints of Youth by Yayoi Kusama
  • Footprints of Youth by Yayoi Kusama
  • Footprints of Youth by Yayoi Kusama
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