A Rare $35 Million David Hockney Painting To Appear At Auction

David Hockney born on 9th July 1937 is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-loved living artists known for his photo collages and paintings of Los Angeles. As per recent news, his landscape masterpiece Nichols Canyon, painted in 1980, will go on offer at the upcoming Phillips contemporary evening sale, scheduled to take place on December 7 in New York. The painting carries an estimate of around $35 million. The painting was one of two monumental works by Hockney, which he completed after returning to painting from a hiatus spent exploring photography in the 1970s.

Hockney described the process of painting the work in a statement:

The moment you live up here, you get a different view of Los Angeles. First of all these wiggly lines seem to enter your life, and they entered the paintings. I began Nichols Canyon. I took a large canvas and drew a wiggly line down the middle, which is what the roads seem to be. I was living up the hills and painting in my studio down the hills, so I was traveling back and forth every day, often two, three, four times a day. I actually felt those wiggly lines.

After completing Nichols Canyon in 1980, David sold it to New York-based André Emmerich Gallery, which, in exchange, bought him a small work by Pablo Picasso at Claude Bernard’s Gallery in Paris, according to Phillips. In January 1982, the painting was sold to an anonymous, private collector and has been kept in the same family before being offered this time at Phillips New York sale of 20th-century and contemporary art sale.

The sale of Nichols Canyon comes near the end of an eventful year for the artist and his market. In February, his iconic painting The Splash (1966) sold at Sotheby’s London for £23.1 million ($29.8 million). Earlier this month, the London Opera House auctioned off Hockney’s portrait of its longtime general administrator, Sir David Webster, to raise funds in order to alleviate the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic; the painting sold for £12.8 million ($16.8 million). Currently, David Hockney is exhibiting his most recent work focusing on the French countryside in a show titled, “Ma Normandie,” at Galerie Lelong & Co. for the hybrid art fair Le Pari(s). According to Artsy data, Hockney has been among the platform’s 20 most in-demand artists every year since 2015. Last year he entered the Top 10 and he’s on track to do so again in 2020.