Phillips, the prominent auction house in London, is set to spotlight the renowned artist David Hockney by introducing an annual auction dedicated to his art. The upcoming auction is scheduled for the 20th of September, part of the Editions season, and will be preceded by a public exhibition at Phillips’, located in Berkeley Square from the 14th to the 20th of September.
The auction house announced that this specific Hockney auction will be a recurring event in their London sales itinerary, and it promises to offer an eclectic collection of rarely-seen works from various mediums, appealing to a range of budgets. This autumn’s lineup includes two of Hockney’s first lithographs, crafted in 1954: ‘Fish and Chip Shop’ (expected to bring in between £15,000 and £20,000) and ‘Woman With A Sewing Machine’ (estimated at £10,000 to £15,000).
Phillips is striving to reproduce the success of last year’s auction, where all 78 lots of Hockney’s works were sold, amassing a total of £3.3 million. The highlight of that event was ‘The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) – 30 May, 2011, which earned £340,200, surpassing its anticipated price of £120,000 to £180,000. Another artwork from this collection will be on offer in this year’s auction, with an estimated value between £80,000 and £120,000.
The Head of Editions, Europe, at Phillips, Robert Kennan, has said that Hockney’s artistry is ever-evolving and innovative. He mentioned that the artist’s portfolio has expanded in tandem with his audience’s growth, thereby attracting both seasoned and novice art collectors. He emphasised that the upcoming auction is an excellent opportunity to own Hockney’s art, which ranges in price from as low as £1,000 to more than £250,000.
Alex Vardaxoglou, the founder of Vardaxoglou Gallery in London, talked about the enduring demand for Hockney’s works. He affirmed a steady craving for high-quality, rare pieces from Hockney’s 1960s-1980s era among his clients, and expects this interest to persist due to his success in placing significant works with collectors.
The decision to focus on Hockney aligns with several high-profile projects featuring the artist’s work, including his interactive art exhibition at the new Lightroom venue in London, named ‘Bigger & Closer, not Smaller & further away,’ which will run until December 3rd. Additionally, the exhibition ‘David Hockney: Drawing from Life’ will be unveiled at London’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) later this year (2 November-21 January 2024). This exhibition, which centres on five individuals including fabric designer Celia Birtwell, was open for a mere 20 days before the pandemic-induced closure of the gallery in March 2020.
Last year, Hockney displayed his latest floral iPad creations at his five standard galleries, which include LA Louver in Los Angeles, Galerie Lelong in Paris, Annely Juda Fine Art in London, Gray in Chicago, and Pace in New York. The artist celebrated his 86th birthday on July 9.