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Hockney Painting Makes Splash at Auction

1966 work sells for $30M
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2020 1:53 AM CST

(Newser) – David Hockney’s exuberant painting "The Splash" sold at auction at Sotheby's in London on Tuesday for almost $30 million. Its pre-sale estimate had been $26 million to $39 million, the AP reports. Painted in 1966, Hockney’s bold canvas shows a California swimming pool in the moment after a diver has leapt in. Hockney left gray Britain for southern California in the 1960s, and captured the intense LA light and the rippling surface of swimming pools in a series of paintings including "A Little Splash" and "A Bigger Splash." "The Splash” was last sold in 2006, when it fetched $5.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction—at the time, a record for Hockney’s work. The current record price for a work by the 82-year-old artist is $90 million, paid at a Christie’s auction in 2018 for another pool painting, "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)."

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