A painting of Hockney sold $ 90.3 million

Une toile de Hockney vendue 90,3 millions de dollars

Photo: Kin Cheung Associated Press
The painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures)”, was exposed in Hong Kong last September.

A painting of the british painter David Hockney was sold for $ 90.3 million at auction at Christie’s in New York on Thursday, setting by far the record for a living artist.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures) has dethroned Balloon Dog (Orange), Jeff Koons, sold for 58.4 million dollars in 2013, also at Christie’s in New York.

The auction started at $ 18 million and the 50 million dollars was taken in 30 seconds.

The painting was eventually sold for $ 80 million at the end of a little more than nine minutes, the price increased to $ 90.3 million by adding fees and commissions.

“We can rarely say : it is the opportunity to buy the best painting of the artist.]…] This time, it is the case “, was estimated to Ana Maria Celis, vice-president of the department Post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s, during the presentation of the canvas.

Beyond that, the work is considered as “one of the greatest works of art of the modern era,” said Alex Rotter, co-chair of the contemporary Art and post-war by Christie s.

It corresponds to “the pinnacle” of the two themes the most famous of the British, grand master of pop-art, he explained : the pools and the double-portrait, two people in interaction.

On this canvas, an elegant man, standing at the edge of the pool, looking thoughtfully another swim under the water in his direction, with the backdrop of an idyllic landscape of trees and mountains.

The man standing is the ex-lover and muse of David Hockney, Peter Schlesinger, who was one of his students at the university UCLA in Los Angeles. Their relationship lasted from 1966 to 1972.

The canvas was realized in 1972 when their affair ended, and the swimmer could be the new lover of Peter, according to Mr. Rotter.

It has become a works-cult of David Hockney, appearing on the cover of numerous books on the artist. She was also one of the attractions of the retrospective which was consecrated in 2017, for his 80th birthday.

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