The painter ultra eighty-year-old English David Hockney is from yesterday evening, the living artist most expensive in the world. Christi’es has closed the Art Week of major auctions in new york with an evening of contemporary art in which he has sold works to 360,3 millions of dollars. The large painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with TwoFigures)” made by Hockney in 1972 was beaten to 90,312,500 dollars. The work thus becomes the most expensive ever shot in the auction of a contemporary artist living. Having exceeded by far the previous record of the giant dog orange “Orange balloon dog” in 1994 by Jeff Koons, which had been awarded to 58.4 million in 2013. The pool of Hockney had been given for the sale at Christie’s from the multibillion Joe Lewis, who owns the football team london’s Tottenham Hotspur and doing business in real estate. The work is considered to be one of the most iconic of Hockney and has been recently exhibited in the retrospective of the artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The previous auction record for Hockney dates back to last may 16 with “the Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica” in 1990, sold for $28,453,000 by Sotheby’s.

other works

in Addition to the mega record Hockney, we report the top price for Pierre Soulages ‘Peinture 186 x 143 cm, 23 décembre 1959’ ($10,600,000). Among the unsold a large plastic our Alberto Burri (estimate 4-6 million). While another american painter, Wayne Thiebaud, celebrated her 98° birthday with the award of his ‘Happy Birthday’ to $2,052,500. Always at Christie’s on Tuesday, another super record, this time for a picture of Edward Hopper (1882-1967), the american painter famous for his masterful portraits of the loneliness of the urban in the life modern american. The painting sold is “Chop Suey”, 1929), that depicts two women sitting facing each other at a table in a chinese restaurant. The shot film of the scene and the background colour, with flashes of light, seem to give voice to the magical inner silence of the protagonists. The work, an oil on canvas 81×96 inches, was purchased -in the auction dedicated to the collection of Barney A. Ebsworth – at 91.9 million of dollars. The previous record of Hopper dates back to 2013, and it was of 40.5 million. “Chop Suey” is the most important framework of the artist still in private hands. The realized price is the second highest for a work of american art sold at auction.

The record

The absolute record still belongs to Jean-Michael Basquiat with 110.5 million dollars paid out in 2017 at Sotheby’s for a large skull painted in 1982 when the artist was 27 years old. In total, the auction to be dedicated to the masterpieces of the collection Ebsworth has collected 317,8 million dollars with forty paintings. The top three lots alone have made a third of the result. After Hopper, a silver medal for “Woman as Landscape by Willem de Kooning sold 68,937,500 $ (new record) and the third place of the evening for “Composition with Red Strokes” of Jackson Pollock bought at 55,437,500. Ebsworth, who died in April this year, was an entrepreneur in the field of luxury tourism. In his biography, tells: “my real interest in art began in 1957. I was not a connoisseur of art. I visited the Louvre because it was such an integral part of Paris, and what I found there changed my life”. Walking in the corridors of the Louvre, said to feel in awe, surrounded as it was by works of art of great who had left an impression so strong in him to try the desire to want to “understand the images, the time periods from which they came and the artists who created them”. “Without a mentor and without lessons, I came to the history of art only by reading and watching. My eyes were my mentors,” wrote Ebsworth “In real estate they say three things matter: location, location, location. For me, collecting art was about quality, quality, quality”. The results achieved from the sale of his collection, seem to have confirmed his statement.