Major works from the pantheon of 20th and 21st-century artists will be showcased in Sotheby’s upcoming Contemporary Art Evening Auction next month.
The auction will be led by a seminal image from David Hockney’s celebrated Californian paintings, which is expected to make an estimated £20 million to £30 million. Hockney’s The Splash could make over six times the price it achieved when Sotheby’s last sold the painting in 2006 for £2.9 million – at the time, a record price for the artist at auction.
Hockney’s work will appear alongside many works making their auction debut, with 75% of the 47 lots on offer hitting the block for the very first time.
Among these is Adrian Ghenie’s The Arrival, which has an estimate of £2.5-3.5 million; one of Yves Klein’s first performance paintings with an estimate of £6-8 million; Turning Figure by Francis Bacon, estimate at £6-8 million; and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s fiery canvas Rubber from 1986, estimated at £6-8 million.
Speaking about the auction, Emma Baker, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, said, “This season’s sale is defined by fresh-to-the-market works from many of the stalwarts of Contemporary Art. Hockney’s breath-taking splash looks set to be the headline work of the season, taking centre stage alongside fellow British contemporaries including Bridget Riley, Frank Auerbach, and Francis Bacon.”
She continued, “Both Hockney’s splash and Bacon’s frenetic figure contrast a single explosion of movement with an otherwise unnervingly still background. Elsewhere we will offer one of the most important works by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, created from exile at the height of the Second World War. The sale will open with Julie Curtiss’ Witch, and will close with a work by Magdalena Abakanowicz on the cusp of her major retrospective at Tate Modern in June. Both artists will appear for the first time in a London evening sale at Sotheby’s.”