David Hockney painting sells for record US$90.3M at NYC auction

17 November, 2018, 17:01 | Author: Miranda Cannon
  • An auctioneer takes bids for the sale of David Hockney's Portrait of an Artist at Christie's in New York

The previous record was held by USA artist Jeff Koons, whose stainless steel Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for £45m in 2013.

Instead, he opted to sell without a reserve, a minimum price at which the work can be hammered down. The sale reached a total of $357.6 million (€315.4 million).

Hockney began work on the painting when he was inspired by the random placement of two photos on his studio floor. Bidding started at $18 million and finished at $80 million with the final price including a buyer's premium, Christie's said in a release.

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At 81-years-old, David Hockney has just become the highest-selling living artist, the BBC reports. The standing man is Peter Schlesinger, an artist and Hockney's ex-lover.

One of Hockney's most celebrated works, it has featured on the cover of a number of monographs about the artist and was part of an global retrospective that celebrated his 80th birthday in 2017.


Lewis declined a guarantee despite offers of about $80 million, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

His career took off after he moved to Los Angeles in the 60s.

Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's in NY, said the painting reflects both the European and the U.S. perspectives of Hockney who went to live in California in the 1960s and saw himself as living on both continents.

The sales across rival houses offer a chance to see works often not viewed in public for decades and theatrical displays of purchasing power by a new generation of buyers, more worldwide than ever.

Hockney's 1972 "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" was sold at Christie's on Thursday night.

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