Sold! Hockney, Hopper, and Other Record-Breaking Sales in Art This Week
Black Friday deals may be arriving next week, but quite the opposite of bargain basement prices happened in the world of art in just the past few days. It’s pretty mind blowing stuff—clearly several people treated themselves for the holidays early (how can a pair of slippers even compare?!).
Yesterday at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Evening Sale a world record was set for the most ever paid for a work by a living artist, David Hockney, now 81. Up for auction was one of his popular pool themes, this time his 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (image above).
Final auction price? $90.3 million, besting Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog which sold for $58.4 in 2013. It only took nine minutes of bidding!
Earlier this week, Edward Hopper’s 1929 painting, Chop Suey (image above), sold for $91.9 million (with fees) by Christie’s. Inspired by a restaurant where Hopper and his future wife used to eat in Manhatten while dating, this painting hasn’t been for sale since the early 1970s. And most Hoppers are in museums—making this particularly attractive to buyers. Part of the collection being sold of cruise ship magnate Barney A. Ebsworth, this sale also featured another record sale of a painting by Willem de Kooning (Woman as Landscape (1954-55), image below) for $68.9 million with fees. (NBD, right?!)
Finally, another significant record was set in the sales of African American art—a market that’s generating a robust interest among collectors...
Of the three African American artists at the Sotheby’s auction, contemporary artist Jack Taylor’s 2004 I’ll Put a Spell on You (image above) was sold for four times what was predicted, reaching a sale of $800,000.
After this year’s world record for any painting sold—Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvatore Mundi for a mere $450 million with fees—it’s hard not to want to live stream these auctions as my new reality show go-to! (My HIGH recommend: the Leonardo auction here).
(Image top of article, courtesy Christie’s)