Lot 85
Post-War & Contemporary Art | 28 April 2021
Yayoi Kusama (1929)


signed and dated '1952 YAYOI KUSAMA' (on the reverse)

gouache and pastel on paper, 38x29,5 cm

Provenance: A gift from Kusama to Jef van Leeuwen, given during her stay in The Hague in 1965.

Ms. Megumi Takasugi / Registration Kusama Studio, informed us that after processing the information, a registration card by Yayoi Kusama Inc. Tokyo will be issued.

In 1965 Yayoi Kusama arrived from New York in The Hague at the invitation of Orez Gallery with a portfolio containing surviving drawings from the 1950’s. On various occasions, artworks from this portfolio were sold or given as gifts by Kusama to friends and acquaintances.

The directors of the gallery, Leo Verboon and Albert Vogel, rented a studio for her, providing her with a sewing machine, some cans of paint spray and a number of objects to work with: a shirt, a pair of discarded trousers, numerous old shoes, a briefcase and an odd number of boards, to enable her to have enough work for her first exhibition at the gallery later that year.

Kusama set to work. As Betty van Garrel articulated in her article in the Dutch weekly the Haagse Post (11/11/67), The boundless love of Kusama: “The coral-like protrusions with which she tends to cover her objects and which most viewers consider to look like phalluses, are stitched on a sewing machine, one by one, by the artist herself. Mirrors, rowing boats, tables, chairs and shoes, everything is covered with tentacles and then monochromatically sprayed white or gold.”

In this same studio complex she met the Hague sculptor Jef van Leeuwen, to whom she gave this 1952 drawing.

A photo taken on November 3, 1967 by Theo van Houts shows Jef van Leeuwen dancing exuberantly with Yayoi Kusama during her First Bodypaint Festival.

That event took place in Delft at the Novum Jazz Society and was organized at the occasion of the 1967 São Paulo Art Biennial prize awarded to the Dutch artist Jan Schoonhoven, with an exhibition of his work in the Gemeentemuseum The Hague and the Orez Gallery.

Between 1965 and 1983, Kusama had five exhibitions in Orez International Gallery at Javastraat 17, The Hague. This gallery represented Kusama in Europe and had a decisive influence on her career.

The drawing has been submitted to the Kusama archive for cataloguing.

€ 30.000,00
€ 50.000,00
€ 130.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 130.000