Kusama’s Pumpkin print tops sale at £24,000

15/04/2019     Prints & Multiples , News Stories & Press Release

LONDON: A £24,000 Pumpkin print by the internationally renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama led a diverse field of material at Roseberys London’s Prints & Multiples sale.

Shane Xu Head of Department commented: Traditional modern European Masters are still strong such as Miro, Matisse and Chagall; special work such as the Elton John photography portfolio showcases our very tasteful buyer pool. We are also delighted to have great quality edition works and achieved great results by the top Asian artists Kusama, Nara and Ai Weiwei who are appreciated in the international market, which benefits from our strong interest in perusing and connecting with the Asian market and collectors.

Yayoi Kusama Nara Ai Wei Wei

Kusuma (b.1929) is best known for her use of bright colours and polka dots while pumpkins are her signature motif, somewhat representing her alter-ego. In a 2015 interview the artist said: "I love pumpkins because of their humorous form, warm feeling, and a human-like quality and form.” The sought after yellow screenprint Pumpkin (1999) was estimated at £20,000-30,000 (Lot 364).

Other Asian highlights included two lithographs by the Japanese Pop artist Yoshitomo Nara (b.1959) titled Cosmic Girls: Eyes Opened/Eyes Closed (2008), which sold above estimate for £4,400 (Lot 363). Thinline (2017), an acrylic-display case with a mirror and glass fibre light line made in an edition of 45 by the famous Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (b.1957), drew keen bidding and was secured for £4,200 (Lot 333).

Among the sale’s big hitters was a limited-edition photography portfolio produced in 2009 by the Sir Elton John AIDS Foundation. It contained the work of a number of renowned contemporary artists and was signed by the famous musician himself (Lot 248). One of only 40 produced, it came in its presentation box and included photographs taken by Nan Goldin, Katy Grannan, Damien Hirst, Sally Mann and Richard Misrach among others. It sold for £15,000.

Damien Hirst’s (b.1965) print Pyronin Y (2005), an etching of a series of multi-coloured dots from an edition of 65, proved popular with bidders and sold for £7,800 (Lot 226).

Prints by traditional modern European masters were another strong area in the sale. Among the top sellers at £11,000 was Joan Miró’s (1893-1983) The Essences of the Earth (1968) – a group of nine prints comprising the full portfolio of impressions on Japon nacre paper (Lot 131). The portfolio was originally printed in an edition of 100 signed impressions, although this set was possibly unique as it included eight signed variations before they were hand-coloured.

Another star was Danseuse au Miroir [Duthuit 492] (1927), an expressive lithograph of a dancer by Henri Matisse (1869-1954), which took £9,800 (Lot 100). In the print showing a dancer posing in front of a mirror examining her figure, Matisse addressed issues such as beauty, vanity and self-awareness. The original lithograph on Japan paper was hand signed by Matisse in pencil and was produced in an edition of 50. 

Knocked down for £7,500 was Marc Chagall’s (1887-1985) vibrant print Les Saltimbanques (The Tumblers) (1969), depicting a variety of these itinerant circus performers. The print was signed and numbered 23/50 in pencil (Lot 125).


You can view all the results here.




For further information please contact Peigi Mackillop peigimackillop@roseberys.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8761 2522











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