Hockney painting the set for a record $80m

Getty Images

A painting by the English artist David Hockney is destined to become the most expensive work by a living artist to ever be sold at auction.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), and is expected to fetch $80m (£61m) at auction in New York in the month of November, according to Christie’s.

It is “one of the great masterpieces of the modern era,” Christie’s added.

The current record belongs to American Jeff Koons. His stainless steel Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58 in 2013.

“At this time, the level of the price for this painting is located in the region of $80 million, which does not mean that I want to cap there, but where we place it within a context of market history,” said Alex Rotter, co-chair of the post-war and Contemporary Art at Christie’s.

“In 10, 15, 20 years from now, if you buy, we definitely want to again and I can tell you, we’ll sell more,” he added.
Hockney’s painting smashes his auction record
David Hockney on Tate Britain retrospective

One of the Yorkshire painter’s most recognizable works, the composition of the two figures started out as two separate photographs in the artist’s studio floor.

It was completed in time for a show in New York André Emmerich Gallery in 1972.

Since then he has appeared in a series of retrospectives at the Tate Modern in london, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the metropolitan in New York.

At the beginning of this year, another 81 years old, the paintings sold for $28.5 m (£21.1 m) – a personal auction record for the artist.


Christie’s has revealed that the private seller, but Mr Brock added: “this is the rare case when the best painting of an artist is actually available.

“With this painting, Hockney has consolidated its position in the field of history’s most revered artists, and come November, is poised to become the most valuable work of art by a living artist ever sold at auction.”

The painting will be exhibited in Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles, before putting the auction on November 15.

Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion, email [email protected].