David Hockney painting sells for $90 million, setting auction record | News | DW | 16.11.2018

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David Hockney painting sells for $90 million, setting auction record

A painting by British artist David Hockney easily broke the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction. Selling for over $90 million, Hockney's painting easily eclipsed the previous record set by Jeff Koons.

David Hockney's "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" sold for a record amount in New York City on Thursday, breaking the record for the highest price at auction for a work by a living artist.

The painting fetched $90.3 million (€79.7 million), surpassing auction house Christie's pre-sale estimate of around $80 million.

The previous record for a work sold by a living artist was held by Jeff Koons, whose sculpture "Balloon Dog" sold for $58.4 million at auction in 2013.

The Hockney piece was described as "the holy grail of his paintings, from both the historical and the market perspectives," by Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's before the auction.

The 81-year-old British artist painted the work in 1972 after being inspired by the two photographs he found juxtaposed on his studio floor. It depicts a man in a pink jacket looking down at another figure swimming underwater in a swimming pool.

Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art before moving to California in the 1960s. He currently splits his time between the UK and the United States.

A retrospective of Hockney's art went on display last year at the Tate Britain, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

rs/msh   (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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