David Hockney double portrait could fetch $12 million at auction

·2-min read
"Self-Portrait on the Terrace" by David Hockney goes up for auction at Sotheby's in May.

Calling all collectors! An emblematic painting by David Hockney is set to go under the hammer at Sotheby's in May as part of its "Contemporary Art Evening Auction." It's estimated to fetch US$8-12 million.

Like many of David Hockney's paintings, "Self-Portrait on the Terrace" has an autobiographical aspect. This monumental work was painted in 1964, when the British artist left the gray London skies for sunny California. There, he created bright artworks with vivid colors, such as the painting going up for sale at Sotheby's.

According to the auction house, "Self-Portrait on the Terrace" shows David Hockney "at his most compositionally and technically fearless yet showcases a vulnerable moment in Hockney's oeuvre and personal life." Indeed, at the time, the British painter had parted ways with Gregory Evans, his former studio assistant and partner of almost 10 years. It was a turning point that is reflected in this rare double portrait.

"Self-Portrait on the Terrace" is estimated to fetch between $8 million and $12 million. Still, bids could climb given the appetite among collectors for David Hockney's paintings of California swimming pools. One such work, titled "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)," sold for $90.3 million in 2018 at Sotheby's, setting a new record for the British artist.

The prestigious origins of "Self-Portrait on the Terrace" could also play in its favor. The painting is coming to the market from the collection of the prominent American philanthropists and collectors, Morris and Rita Pynoos. It was in their personal collection for more than 35 years, after being acquired from the New York gallerist André Emmerich, in 1984.

The painting will go under the hammer in May as part of the "Contemporary Art Evening Auction" in New York. Before being sold, it will be exhibited in Los Angeles (March 25- 27), Taipei (April 3-4) and Hong Kong (April 16-21) before returning to New York.

Caroline Drzewinski