David Hockney
David Hockney, earlier this year at the opening of "David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away)" at Lightroom.
Dave Benett/Getty Images

Annual David Hockney Auction Debuts in London This Year

The auction is set to take place in September

There are few sure bets in the world of buying and selling contemporary art, but David Hockney certainly meets that definition. In 2018, his painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) set a new record for the highest price paid at auction for a work by a living artist, selling for $90.3 million. Two years later, works by Hockney sold for a combined $132 million at auction.

All of that goes a long way toward explaining why Phillips, a top auction house in London, has taken the step of establishing an annual auction dedicated to all things Hockney. As The Art Newspaper reports, the first such event will take place on September 20. This year, the auction will be accompanied by a show of Hockney’s work at the auction house’s gallery, running from September 14-20.

“The demand for the artist’s work was made evident to us in the extraordinary response we received to our standalone Hockney auction in September 2022,” said Robert Kennan, Phillips’s Head of Editions for Europe, in a statement. “There is huge demand for the expansive spectrum of work Hockney has produced in a variety of mediums throughout his lifetime.”

Kennan went on to dub the auction “an opportunity to acquire Hockney’s work at all price points,” citing offerings that will be available for £1,000 (just under $1,300 at the current rate of exchange) up to pieces valued at “£250,000 and above” (around $321,000).

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This won’t be the only opportunity for Hockney aficionados to see the artist’s work in London this fall. The National Portrait Gallery is set to open the show David Hockney: Drawing from Life in November. The exhibit originally opened in early 2020, but was cut short early as a result of the pandemic. It’s never a bad time to immerse yourself in Hockney’s art, but the second half of this year will abound with such moments.

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