The Splash painting sold for more than £ 23.1 million ($ 29.8 million) at an auction in London on Tuesday night. The author of this painting is painter David Hockney, a modern masterpiece who holds a place among the most iconic pop art images of the 20th century.
A David Hockney painting titled “The Splash,” a modern masterpiece that holds a spot among the 20th century’s most iconic pop art images, sold for more than £23.1 million ($29.8 million) at an auction in London on Tuesday evening.
The price for this painting is the third highest ever paid for a work by an 82-year-old British artist, who was briefly the world’s most expensive living artist.
The painting depicts a sun-drenched California swimming pool, where an unseen person has just dived in, creating a splash. It is part of a series of three works, all painted in Los Angeles between 1966 and 1967, that are all similar in composition but different in size.
The largest, “A Bigger Splash,” measures 96 by 95 inches and has been part of the collection at London’s Tate Britain gallery since 1981. The smallest, “A Little Splash” is in a private collection. The version sold by Sotheby’s on Tuesday, simply titled “The Splash,” sits in the middle at 72 by 72 inches.
Previously the painting was sentenced in 2006 for £ 2.9 million (then $ 5.4 million), setting the artist’s record at the time.
This painting serves as a quintessential example of Hockney’s lifelong passion. The picture depicts the texture, appearance and depth of water. This is the passion that culminates in one of the most famous works and is immediately recognizable in 20th century art.
Hockney’s paintings have received a lot of success at these auctions. Portrait of a Artist (Pool with Two Pictures) sold for $ 90.3 million, then the highest auction ever for a living artist. In 2019, his 1969 double portrait “Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott” went for $49.5 million at Christie’s, while 1971’s “Sur la Terrasse” fetched $29.5 million, also at Christie’s.
Dr. Hockney shared that he loved the idea of drawing this thing for two seconds. “It takes me two weeks to paint this event that lasts for two seconds. Everyone knows a splash can’t be frozen in time, so when you see it like that in a painting it’s even more striking than in a photograph.”