The Los Angeles County Museum of Art acquired a 25-foot-tall Yoshitomo Nara sculpture.
Yoshitomo Nara, Miss Forest (LACMA Version), 2020. Courtesy the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has acquired Yoshitomo Nara’s Miss Forest (LACMA Version) (2020). The work, which stands at more than 25 feet tall, was gifted to the museum by an anonymous donor. It is Nara’s largest outdoor sculpture to date, and was created for a retrospective on the Japanese artist’s work at LACMA which was scheduled to open earlier this year. Miss Forest joins LACMA’s other notable outdoor sculptural acquisitions, including Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass (2012) and Chris Burden's Urban Light (2008), which are still available for public viewing while the museum remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
Nara described the sculpture in a recent interview with exhibition curator Mika Yoshitake:
In Japanese, it's called “Moriko” or the child of the forest [...] Amidst the process of the work being made, the image I envisioned was a thing that was connected to the earth, born from the soil of the earth, that grew into the sky... into outer space and thus communicated with the universe like an antenna. It is like a catalyst between the grand earth upon which we place our feet and the sky that our hands cannot reach.
The acquisition comes just weeks before a major Nara painting heads to auction at a collaborative sale between Phillips Hong Kong and China’s Poly Auction, scheduled to take place on November 29th. Hot House Doll, in the White Room III (1995) carries an estimate of at least 40 million HKD ($5.1 million), a price which, if achieved, would place the work within Nara’s top five most expensive works at auction.
According to Artsy data, Nara’s work has consistently driven more demand on the platform over the past four years with interest in his sculptural works following suit. The total number of inquiries on his works on Artsy surged by 63 percent between from 2018 to 2019. Currently, inquiries on Nara's work are on pace to exceed last year's highs.