Pumpkin (L)

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Artist
Lifespan
born 1956
Nationality
Information
Art Type
Media / Materials
Status
Year Completed
2014, fabricated 2018
Credit
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from John and Mary Pappajohn, 2018.6
Location
Latitude & Longitude
41.585017,-93.636089
Location Description
Northwest area of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park near 15th Street and Grand Avenue.

Yayoi Kusama’s family ran a seed and plant nursery in her native Japan, and the artist grew up surrounded by fields of plants. As a result, pumpkins, usually covered in the artist’s signature fields of polka dots, have appeared in her art since she was a young girl. “It seems pumpkins do not inspire much respect,” Kusama once said. “But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness.” These words also seem an apt description of Pumpkin (L), an 8 foot bronze celebrating the undulating curves of a ripe pumpkin. Accentuated with trails of polka dots, the giant gourd looks like it might come from a fairy tale landscape. As is the case with most fairy tales, uncanny or even menacing undertones may be found in this sculpture, evident in its large scale, dark colors, and the vining, fertile nature of the pumpkin itself. Many viewers will make associations with playful Halloween celebrations and the autumn harvest, lending the work a familiarity and “unpretentiousness” that can be found in much of Kusama’s work.

Accentuated with trails of polka dots, the giant gourd looks like it might come from a fairy tale landscape.

The overall dimensions of Pumpkin (L) is 94 7/8 × 92 1/2 × 92 1/2 in., 3306.9 lb. (241 × 235 × 235 cm., 1500 kg.) It is from an edition of 8 and two Artist Proofs; this work is number 6 of 8.


“It seems pumpkins do not inspire much respect,” Kusama once said. “But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness.”

Andy Goldsworthy

Find other public artwork: Pappajohn Sculpture Park

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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