David Hockney's pool painting set to sell for record amount for a living artist
Source:theguardian Author:Mark Brown Date: 2018-09-14 Size:
A swimming pool painting by David Hockney could become the most……

David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) will be auctioned in November. Photograph: AP

A swimming pool painting by David Hockney could become the most valuable work of art by a living artist sold at auction.

Christie’s in New York announced on Thursday that it was selling Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) with an estimate in the region of $80m (£61m). The painting, a star of Hockney’s recent retrospective, is reportedly owned by Joe Lewis, the Bahamas-based billionaire and owner of Tottenham Hotspur.

Anywhere near the estimate, which is nearly three times the price of the most expensive Hockney sold at auction to date, would break the record. Jeff Koons holds the title after his stainless steel Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58m in 2013. Next is Gerhard Richter, the most expensive European artist, after his Abstraktes Bild (1988) sold in London in 2015 for £30.4m (then $46m).

The most expensive Hockney auctioned to date is Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica, which sold at Sotheby’s New York this year for $28.5m.

Alex Rotter, co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, said Hockney’s pool painting was “one of the great masterpieces of the modern era”.

The 1972 work, set against a gorgeous, green, hilly landscape, shows a man swimming underwater in the pool watched by another man, Hockney’s ex-boyfriend Peter Schlesinger.

Jeff Koons holds the sale record for a piece of art by a living artist with Balloon Dog (Orange), Photograph: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Rotter said: “David Hockney’s brilliance as an artist is on full display with this monumental canvas, which encapsulates the essence of the idealised poolside landscape, and the tremendous complexity that exists within human relationships.

“With this painting, Hockney cemented his placement within the realm of history’s most venerated artists, and come November it is poised to become the most valuable work of art by a living artist ever sold at auction.”

Its reported owner, 81-year-old Lewis, is a passionate collector of art, owning works by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse and Lucian Freud.

The pool painting, 3 metres wide, was an unquestionable standout at Tate Britain’s Hockney retrospective last year and was then displayed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Before its sale in New York in November, the work will be exhibited in Hong Kong on 28-29 September, London on 3-5 October and Los Angeles on 23-27 October.

[Editor] 张艳