Hockney breaks the record of the most expensive work of a living artist with 80 million | Culture

The work of David Hockney Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures), of 1972, took all eyes on Thursday at the auction held by Christie's in New York, where he broke a record reaching 90.3 million dollars (about 80 million euros), the highest price that has been paid for a piece of a living artist.

The amount, which includes taxes and fees, far exceeds the 58.4 million dollars (51 million euros) that had been paid by one of the Balloon Dog of the American Jeff Koons in 2013.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures) was received in the room of Christie's with a murmur of enthusiasm of the attendees, and after the bidding began, which started at 20 million dollars, reached 60 in less than half a minute and ended at 80 million after a long and tense " battle".

Thus, when adding the rates and taxes that the buyer must pay, the piece reached a price of 90,312,500 dollars, which exceeds by more than 30 million the previous figure of Koons and its balloons. The work of Hockney, of great dimensions, is considered one of the three most important pieces of the British artist, of 81 years, and is the only one in which he combined two of his recurring representations: a swimming pool and a double portrait.

In the same auction, another work by Hockney went on sale, Sprungbrett mit Schatten (Paper Pool 14), painted in 1978, which had an estimated value of 6 to 8 million dollars, and sold for more than 7.2 million.

Commercial Renaissance

The British painter, who began to become known in the United Kingdom in the 60s, has become one of the most popular living artists, although his work was initially not perceived seriously by the striking colors he uses and some figures too Realistic

However, he is currently experiencing a commercial renaissance and reputation thanks to three recent retrospectives, including one at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and another at Tate Britain that broke attendance records.

A moment of the auction.
A moment of the auction. EFE

Experts point out that the historical price of this Hockney and other sales that have been seen this week of auctions, the most important of the year, points to the market is rotating towards pieces of living artists in a reaction to the exorbitant prices of classics.

Also highlighted at Christie's today's Mark Rothko auction Untitled (Rust, Blacks on Plum), painted in 1962 and in the hands of the wealthy and powerful clan of the De Menil since 1979.

The piece of the master of abstract expressionism had been valued by Christie's at a minimum of 35 million dollars and a maximum of 45, but only managed to narrowly surpass the lowest estimate to reach 35.7 million.

Study of Henrietta Moraes Laughing, painted by Francis Bacon in 1969, it did surpass the price that the experts of the auction house had given him, between 14 and 18 million dollars, when selling for 21.6 million.

A mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder was also received with enthusiasm, 21 Feuilles Blanches, one of its most representative pieces and which was executed in 1953, which had been granted an estimated value of between 5 and 8 million but nevertheless reached 17.9 million.

With a much more modest profile, I reached the Christie's bid Window, a pencil drawing of Philip Guston that was thought to have a value of between 300,000 and 500,000 dollars, and for which however someone was willing to pay more than 3 million dollars, a value six times higher than the maximum estimated.

Other stars of the night were Discography Two, by Jean-Michel Basquiat, for which 20.9 million dollars were paid, Ocean Park 137, by Richard Diebenkorn, which reached 22.5 million dollars, and Untitled, by Christopher Wool, which sold for 15.2 million dollars.

The sale of contemporary art is on the rise, as shown in this week of millionaire auctions in New York the figures offered today by the house Sotheby's, which calculates its sales in this art in 1.600 million dollars so far this year, a 22% more than in 2017, after billing only 463 million dollars so far this month.


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