David Hockney is considered to be one of the most important British artists of the 20th century. He is perhaps best known for his serial paintings of swimming pools, portraits of friends, and verdant landscapes. The artist’s works range from collaged photography and posters, to Cubist-inspired abstractions and open-air paintings of the English countryside.
During Last nights Christie's auction, Hockney's Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) sold for $90.3 million at the post war and contemporary art in Rockefeller Center.
The work by the British artist topples Jeff Koons's Balloon Dog which sold for $58.4 million to become the most expensive work by a living artist. The sale more than tripled the British artist’s current record of $28.4 million set in May.
Hockney’s record shows a sharp escalation in his status as one of the few artists who can command prices in the upper eight figures. Just two years ago, his auction record was $11.7 million.
Bidding on the 1972 painting opened at $18 million and quickly rose. The work was brought to auction by consigner Joe Lewis. Lewis was confidant in a strong performance and listed the painting without reserve, causing bidding to open at the relatively low threshold. The whole process lasted 9 minutes.