Top Ten Most Expensive Yayoi Kusama Works at Auction

We can't get enough of her dots.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her mesmerizing dot paintings, which she creates via an obsessive process of concentration. Her shows at galleries and museums always attract gigantic audiences, ranging from children to eager adults, who both seem to experience her work with glee. It may come as no surprise, then, that she was named the most popular artist in the world last year, in terms of museum attendance. Her market is also strong, with works selling for millions at the top houses.

Notable about the list below, using artnet’s Price Database, is that these are mostly early paintings made while the artist lived in New York during the 1960s, when she participated in happenings and created works at a rapid pace.

Yayoi Kusama, White No. 28 (1960) sold at Christie's New York on November 12, 2014 for $7,109,000.

Yayoi Kusama, White No.28 (1960).
Image: Courtesy of Christie’s.

1.White No.28  (1960) $7,109,000.
This “Infinity Net” painting was sold at Christie’s New York in December 2014 as part of the Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale which achieved the highest total in auction history at the time.

Yayoi Kusama No. Red B sold for $7 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong.  Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Yayoi Kusama, NO. RED B (1960).
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

2. NO. RED B (1960) $7,034,566.
Five bidders chased the “Infinity Net” work at Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Asian Art Evening at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2015.

3. Interminable net #3 (1959) $5,850,000. Painted a year after she arrived in New York the work was sold at the Contemporary Art Auction at at Sotheby’s New York in December 2015.

Yayoi Kusama, No. 2 (1959).Image: Courtesy of the artist/The Creator's Project.

Yayoi Kusama, No. 2 (1959).
Image: Courtesy of the artist/The Creators Project.

4. No. 2 (1959) $5,794,500.
The rare, early work once owned by Donald Judd was won by New York dealer Philippe Segalot at the Post War & Contemporary Evening Sale at Christie’s New York in November 2008.

5. No.Red.A.B.C (1960) $3,784,828.
The large red “Infinity Net” painting sold at Seoul Auction in December 2015.

6. No. G.A. White (1960) $3,330,500.
This large white “Infinity Net” composition sold at Christie’s New York in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in May 2010.

Yayoi Kusama, NO. E (1959).Image: Courtesy of ArtStack.

Yayoi Kusama, NO. E (1959).
Image: Courtesy of ArtStack.

7. NO. E (1959) $3,189,000.
These early works were produced  in “repeated exactly in monotone, like the gear of a machine” according to the artist and this particular painting sold at Sotheby’s New York at the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in May 2014.

Yayoi Kusama, Untitled (1967).Image: Courtesy of Barbara Mathes Gallery.

Yayoi Kusama, Untitled (1967).
Image: Courtesy of Barbara Mathes Gallery.

8. Untitled (1967) $3,077,000.
This work painted in multiple colours was made shortly before Kusama left the United States to return to Japan and sold in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Christie’s New York in May 2015.

9. Infinity-Nets WHXOTLO (2006) $2,325,252.
This recent work, painted in black and white is very large in size. It sold at the Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale) at Christie’s Hong Kong in November 2014.

10. Infinity Nets (T.W.A) (2000) $2,127,367.
This painting, very evocative of early works sold at Christie’s London in October 2013.

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