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David Hockney painting’s $28.5m sale smashes his auction record

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    A blurred figure walking past David Hockney's Pacific Coast Highway and Santa MonicaImage copyright PA
    Image caption A blurred figure walking past David Hockney’s Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica

    A David Hockney painting has sold for $28.5m (£21.1m) – more than double the previous auction record for the artist.

    Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica, a large-scale oil painting dating from 1990, was sold to a private Asian collector at Sotheby’s on Wednesday.

    The record price for a Hockney had already been broken once when Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30) fetched $11.74m (£8.7m) earlier in the evening.

    The previous record of $11.7m, for Woldgate Woods, was set in 2016.

    Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica depicts the Californian hills in bright, bold colours, and was described by Sotheby’s as “a highly personal and whimsical landscape brimming with joie de vivre”.

    The painting is an homage to the route the Bradford-born artist would take from his house in the Hollywood Hills to his studio on Santa Monica Boulevard while listening to opera – which he dubbed his Wagner drive.

    He wrote in 1993: “Anyone who had been on my Wagner drive would immediately recognise Pacific Coast Highway [and Santa Monica] – a multiple view of Santa Monica Bay and the mountains.”

    Image copyright PA/Sothebys
    Image caption David Hockney’s Piscine de Medianoche used coloured and pressed paper pulp

    Piscine de Medianoche, from 1978, was inspired by his friend Kenneth Tyler’s swimming pool in Westchester County, New York. It was bought by a private American collector.

    The auction house said demand for works by the 80-year-old artist was at an “all-time high”, with four of his five highest auction prices being set in the past 18 months.

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