Hockney painting breaks auction record for living artist

Hockney painting breaks auction record for living artist

Hockney painting breaks auction record for living artist

A painting by David Hockney has sold for US$90million (AUD $124million), a record price for a living artist.

Earlier this year, another of the 81-year-old's paintings sold for $28.5m - a personal auction record for the artist. The previous record was held by Jeff Koons and his "Balloon Dog (Orange)", which sold for $58.4 million at Christie's in 2013.

The composition of the two figures began as two separate photographs on the artist's studio floor and was completed in time for an exhibition at New York's André Emmerich Gallery in 1972. He noted that it reflects both the European and the American perspectives of an artist who came to live in sunny California in the '60s, and saw himself as living on both continents.

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Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's in NY, said the painting reflects both the European and the USA perspectives of Hockney who went to live in California in the 1960s and saw himself as living on both continents. One, fully clothed, stands at the edge of a swimming pool gazing down at another, who is submerged.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), features a man in a peach blazer standing on a sunlit ledge and peering over the rim of a pool at a submerged swimmer.

He said: 'It has all the elements that you would want in a Hockney painting.

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The painting, whose buyer was not immediately revealed, had been long held by a private collector.

The relationship ended in 1971.

Christie's had estimated the 1972 oil painting at $80 million and called the Hockney "one of the great masterpieces of the modern era".

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