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WORLD RECORD FOR DAVID HOCKNEY AT CHRISTIE'S
16 November 2018
Category : MARKET

81-year-old British artist David Hockney  became the most expensive living painter when Christie's sold his Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) for $90.3 million at its postwar and contemporary art auction in New York which realized a total of $357.6 million, compared with a revised pre-sale estimate of $323 million to $421.5 million.

The Hockney painting was offered without any type of guarantee, a rare feat, notwithstanding that it did not have a reserve price either while the bidding process started at $18 million to reach 60 million within 60 seconds but it took another eight minutes to reach its final price.

The final result made Hockney the top selling living artist, eclipsing the previous record of $58.4 million set for a giant Jeff Koons Balloon Dog. It also more than tripled the British artist's current record of $28.4 million set in May.

Nevertheless, bidders seemed cautious and did not play a tough game for another Hockney swimming pool work which sold for 7.3 million on a 6-8 million estimate while the guaranteed Untitled (Rust, blocks on plum-1962) by Mark Rothko went for 35.7 million with premium agaisnt a high estimate of 45 million. Meanwhile, Francis Bacon's Study of Henrietta Moraes Laughing (1969) went slighly its high estimate at 21.7 million.

Window (1969-70) by Philip Guston, a graphite on paper rose surprisingly to 3.1 million USD against a high estimate of 500,000 dollars while Alexander Calder's white hanging mobile 21 Feuilles Blanches (1953) culminated at 17,97 million USD, probably because it had stayed in the same Swiss collection for 60 years.

Christopher Wool's Untitled (RUN DOG RUN 1990) managed to sell at $15.2 million compared with an estimate of $14 million to $18 million.while Jean Michel Basquiat's Discography Two (1983) estimated at $20 to 30 million only sold for $20.9 million after being hammered down for an under-estimate $19 million to Christie's co-chairman of postwar and contemporary Alex Rotter.

Meanwhile, Richard Diebenkorn‘s Ocean Park #137 (1985) sold for $22.6 million with premium flirting with his current auction record of $23.9 million, set earlier this year at Christie's New York for a work from the same series, Ocean Park #126 (1984)

Sam Gilliam's Lady Day II (1971) sold for $2.2 million, roughly $1 million above the previous record of $1.2 million set this past June at Sotheby's London for Forth (1967).

Records were also set for two other artists: Robert Colescott, whose Cultural Exchange, sold for $912,500, nearly tripling its estimate; and Pierre Soulages, whose Peinture 186 x 143 cm, 23 décembre 1959, realized $10.6 million.

Warhol's graphite and colored pencil on paper Do It Yourself (Violin) (1962) sold for $5.7 million while Tunafish Disaster(1963), a silkscreen painting from the artist's famous “Disaster” series that included car crashes and other macabre themes fetched $5,9 million.

Morris Louis's Para IV (1959) sold at Phillips in 2015 for $2.3 million culminated at $3.25 million, Peter Doig‘s Untitled (Silver Pond Painting) (2001) sold at Sotheby's New York in November 2007 for $2.7 million was left unsold at $3.8 million And Tom Wesselmann‘s Great American Nude No 34 sold at Sotheby's New York in May 2003 for $680,000 sold for $3.2 million with premium.

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