Yayoi Kusama Value: Top Prices Paid at Auction

Pumpkin (RT) 316 by Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin (RT) 316 © Yayoi Kusama 2004
Joe Syer

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Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama

239 works

Yayoi Kusama's artwork commands top prices in the market, placing her among the elite blue chip artists. Her iconic works, such as the Pumpkins, Infinity Nets, and dotted patterns, have solidified her status as a branded blue chip icon, with her pieces fetching competitive prices comparable to male counterparts in the art world. Kusama's strategic collaborations, including partnerships with fashion powerhouse LVMH, contribute to the high demand for her art.

Kusama's enduring popularity, frequent retrospectives, ongoing collaborations, and significant influence have cemented her position as a highly sought-after artist in the secondary market. Her prints consistently maintain their high value, reflecting their enduring appeal to collectors and art enthusiasts.

Below are Kusama's top-ten highest valued artworks.

£8.5M for Untitled (Nets)


Untitled (Nets) by Yayoi KusamaImage © Phillips / Untitled (Nets) © Yayoi Kusama 1959

Executed in the year her famed Infinity Nets series was born, Kusama's 1959 Untitled (Nets) defines her mastery of abstraction. Kusama proceeds with her preoccupation and fascination with dots in this painting, displaying an interminable expanse of dotted patterns against a white background. "And the spell of the dots and the mesh enfolded me in a magical curtain of mysterious, invisible power," Kusama said.

This oil on canvas fetched £8.5 million during the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale auction at Phillips, New York, exceeding estimates of £4-5.7million.

£6.4M for Pumpkin (L)

($ 62,638,000 HKD)

Pumpkin (L) by Yayoi Kusama - Sotheby's 2023 Image © Sotheby's / Pumpkin (L) © Yayoi Kusama 2014

Pumpkin (L) (2014) a bronze sculpture by Kusama, features her most iconic motif, rendered in her signature polka dot design. This artwork is a rare and striking example of a large-scale sculptural piece, showcasing Kusama's iconic interpretation of the pumpkin. The sculptures from this series were created in various editions, each distinguished by its size. This particular work is the largest in the series, designated as edition 8 of 8 with 2 artist proofs, and it marks the first time a sculpture of this scale has appeared at auction.

Editions of these sculptures have previously been displayed publicly, garnering widespread recognition on a global scale. In April 2023, Sotheby's Hong Kong presented this remarkable artwork, which achieved £6.4 million, setting a new record for Kusama's sculptural practice.

£6.1M for Interminable Net No.4


Interminable Net #4 by Yayoi KusamaImage © Sotheby's / Interminable Net #4 © Yayoi Kusama 1959

Created during Kusama’s time in New York, Interminable Net #4 belongs to a body of work known as the Infinity Net paintings. Kusama attributes the inspiration for these artworks to a view she once had from an aeroplane window, where she ‘saw ever expanding nets on the ocean’. Indeed the layered, painterly effect created across the surface of this canvas is evocative of ripples across water. Interminable Net No.4 sold for HK$62,433,000 (£6,056,250) at Sotheby's Hong Kong in April 2019, among the highest values ever achieved for a Kusama artwork on the secondary market.

£6.0M for Flowers

($58,455,000 HKD)

Flowers by Yayoi Kusama - Christie's 2023 Image © Christie's / Flowers © Yayoi Kusama 2015

Flowers (2015), departs from Kusama's iconic pumpkin motif, yet embodies the essence of the her artistry through the interpretation of flowers. This large-scale artwork showcases Kusama's distinctive approach to portraying flowers, where each bloom seems to detach from its stem, possessing a unique allure and charisma that imparts a lifelike quality.

This rare artwork made its auction debut at Christie's Hong Kong, firmly establishing its place among Kusama's most sought-after works achieving a remarkable sale price, surpassing £6 million.

£6.0M for Pumpkin (LPASG)


Pumpkin (LPASG) by Yayoi KusamaImage © Christie's / Pumpkin (LPASG) © Yayoi Kusama 2013

Kusama’s 2013 work Pumpkin (LPASG) shows a bright yellow gourd covered in black polka dots on a dark, fractured background. The dots are a trademark motif of Kusama’s, appearing throughout her work on naked bodies, across canvases and even in the artist’s own clothing and hair. Here, they both map out the contours of the three dimensional object and ‘obliterate’ its form, making it not one object but the sum of infinite elements. In December 2021 this artwork sold for HKD$62,540,00 (£6,013,295) at Christie's Hong Kong, one of the highest values achieved by any of Kusama’s works on the secondary market.

£5.8M for Pumpkin

($56,110,000 HKD)

Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama - Phillips 2023 Image © Phillips / Pumpkin © Yayoi Kusama 1995

Kusama's Pumpkin paintings have garnered remarkable acclaim in recent times, consistently fetching millions at auction. In these works, Kusama skillfully portrays the pumpkin in various sizes and poses, always set against her iconic netted background. Through her imaginative placement and lifelike rendering, Kusama elevates this ordinary object to the status of a portrait. These paintings feature pumpkins in a range of hues, including purple, green, and red, with yellow emerging as the most favoured.

This particular large-scale painting made its auction debut at Phillips in March 2023, achieving an impressive £5.7 million.

£5.7M for Infinity Nets (TWHOQ)

($53,250,000 HKD)

Painted at the age of 70, this large-scale masterpiece stands as a testament to Kusama's enduring talent and boundless creativity. The monumental triptych is a mesmerising composition, featuring countless “infinity nets,’’ a concept directly derived from its title, set against a radiant golden backdrop. The theme of infinity nets is one that Kusama revisited throughout her career, exploring it in various interpretations, captivating both the visual and mental faculties of the viewer.

This remarkable artwork made its second appearance at auction, gracing the Christie's platform in November 2022. It quickly ascended among Kusama's top-selling works, achieving £5.7 million, which was twice the amount it fetched in its previous sale back in 2019.

£5.5M for Pumpkin (M)

($6,529,100 USD)

Pumpkins (M) by Yayoi Kusama - Sotheby's 2023 Image © Sotheby's / Pumpkin (M) © Yayoi Kusama 2014

Pumpkin (M) (2014) is part of the second-largest series of Kusama's bronze pumpkin sculptures, featuring her iconic dot pattern. These sculptures evoke a sense of familiarity, reminiscent of objects that transport viewers back to nostalgic childhood memories. Edition 8 of 8, this artwork made its auction debut at Sotheby's New York and achieved an impressive sale price of £5.4 million, establishing itself as the second-highest selling bronze pumpkin work to appear on the market.

£5.3M for Pumpkin (Twpot)

(HK$ 54,460,000)

Pumpkin (Twpot) by Yayoi KusamaImage © Sotheby's / Pumpkin (Twpot) © Yayoi Kusama 2010

Kusama’s 2010 artwork Pumpkin (Twpot) sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2019 for HK$54,460,000 (£5,282,837).

The pumpkin, now an image synonymous with Kusama’s practice, first appeared in the artist’s work as a sculpture in the early 1990s. Here, the pumpkin exists as a two dimensional work on canvas. Depicted in yellow on a dark background, the pumpkin is adorned with polka dots which fluctuate in size, mapping the contours of the gourd and breaking up it’s surface. The polka dot, another of Kusama’s trademark visual references, has appeared in her artwork since childhood.

£4.7M for A-Pumpkin (BAGN8)

($55,169,500 HKD)

A-Pumpkin (BAGN8) by Yayoi Kusama - Sotheby's 2023 image © Sotheby's / A-Pumpkin (BAGN8) © Yayoi Kusama 2011

Another iconic pumpkin artwork, A-Pumpkin (BAGN8) (2011) presents a vertical composition with the pumpkin adorned in dots, extending from its stem to the base, set against Kusama's signature netted backdrop. This captivating piece made its appearance at Sotheby's in April 2023, where it achieved an impressive sale price of £5.6 million, further highlighting the desirability of Kusama's pumpkin-themed works.