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David Hockney auction record broken twice in one night

UK News | Published:

Two works by the Bradford-born artist fetched more than £29.6m.

David Hockney’s 1990 work Pacific Coast Highway And Santa Monica (Sotheby’s/PA)

The record auction price for a work by David Hockney has been broken twice in one evening as two pieces fetched more than 40.1 million dollars (£29.6m).

The celebrated British artist’s landmark 1990 masterpiece Pacific Coast Highway And Santa Monica went under the hammer for 28.5 million dollars (£21m) – more than twice the earlier benchmark – during a sale at Sotheby’s New York on Wednesday.

The record sale came shortly after a 1978 work titled Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30) was snapped up for 11.7 million dollars (£8.6m) – around 30,000 dollars (£22,000) more than the previous record set by his Yorkshire landscape, Woldgate Woods, at Sotheby’s in 2016.

It was the first time either piece had been put up for auction, Sotheby’s said.

Capturing the view from Hockney’s home in the Hollywood Hills, Pacific Coast Highway And Santa Monica was described as a “true triumph of his singular vision” by David Galperin, head of the Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

The piece is seen as an important work for its time, created when artists were turning away from paint towards other mediums such as photography and installation art.

In his autobiography Hockney said the view would be immediately recognisable to anyone who had been on his driveway.

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Sotheby’s said Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30) is a “superb and particularly dramatic example” of the artist’s Paper Pools series.

Created over six weeks in the autumn of 1972, they depict the effects of sunlight on a swimming pool at different times of day.

The auction house said demand for works by Bradford-born Hockney, 80, is at an “all-time high”, with four of the five highest auction prices for the artist set in the past 18 months.

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