We don’t know, you wait ages for a David Hockney painting to come along and then two arrive at almost the same time! In the one evening, anyway, as happened recently when a couple of the Bradford-born contemporary abstract artist, Hockney’s well known compositional pieces came up for auction in a prestigious New York house’s sale rooms. And not only did both items meet their reserves, yet went on to smash previous records, not once but twice!
Grossing a collective £29.6 million, Hockney’s 1990 masterpiece ‘Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica’ AND his equally celebrated ‘Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30)’ created back in 1978 went above and beyond initial expectations, as the hammer dropped in quick succession at Sotheby’s’ Contemporary Art Evening event. The former was bagged by its new owner for a price of £21 million, while the latter was acquired separately for the more modest sum of £8.6 million. According to the widely-regarded auctioneers, this was the first time that either painting by Hockney had appeared in an auction.
Previous Hockney Auction Highs Bettered Twice in Same Evening
‘Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica’ was so-titled due to being originally inspired by the breath-taking vistas the iconic fine artist enjoyed from his Hollywood Hills home, and is all the more stand-out as it’s captured at a time when the contemporary art world was seemingly falling out of love with paint and instead turning its attentions to installations art and photography as a means of creative expression. Speaking of this specific panorama, Hockney paid mention to it in his autobiography, saying that it would be ‘instantly recognisable’ to those who had ever stood on his driveway.
With regards to the second illustrative feature, namely ‘Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30)’, and we learn that the 1978 visual – which graphically manifests as a typical Los Angeles-esque outdoor swimming pool with a diving board pictured in the foreground, and which notably focuses on the way in which sunlight effects said structure during the course of an average day – was created over 6 weeks by Hockney.
Described by Sotheby’s as a “superb and particularly dramatic example” of the critically acclaimed contemporary artist’s back catalogue, this latest sale – along with the abovementioned – underlines the current demand for Hockney’s work, where in the past 18 months four out of the five highest auction prices for his work have been realised.
Although not quite up there with Hockney’s in terms of financial worth, we don’t mind admitting we have our own fair share of impressive contemporary landscapes available right here and now for those parties seeking their own relative investment opportunity; including all the very latest works from the best-selling likes of Henderson Cisz, Lawrence Coulson, John Myatt and Paul Corfield to name but four.