Hockney painting sells for $A45 million


David Hockney’s exuberant painting The Splash has sold at auction for almost $A45 million.

The painting fetched 23.1 million pounds at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday.

Its pre-sale estimate had been 20 million pounds to 30 million pounds,

Painted in 1966, Hockney’s bold canvas shows a California swimming pool in the moment after a diver has leapt in.

Hockney left grey Britain for southern California in the 1960s, and captured the intense Los Angeles 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 $A8 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 $A134 million, paid at a Christie’s auction in 2018 for another pool painting, Portrait Of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures).