A significant event for art collectors and enthusiasts alike, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction takes place this February with David Hockney’s The Splash starring as the dazzling pièce de résistance. The renowned work of art, which depicts the moment after a diver crashes into still water and encompasses Hockney’s ‘Californian fantasy’, will be offered with an estimate of £20 – 30 million – more than six times the selling price at Sotheby’s London in 2006 – and is the second of a trio of works, one of which (A Bigger Splash) currently resides in the Tate.
Revealing his long-lasting obsessions with the intricacies of LA and water, Hockney’s iconic series of paintings established his international reputation and influence as a progressional artist combining Minimalism, Modernist Abstraction and Pop Art all at once.
David Hockney on A Bigger Splash, in Hockney by Hockney (1976) said: ‘I love the idea, first of all, of painting like Leonardo, all his studies of water, swirling things. And I loved the idea of painting this thing that lasts for two seconds; it takes me two weeks to paint this event that lasts for two seconds. Everyone knows a splash can’t be frozen in time, so when you see it like that in a painting it’s even more striking than in a photograph.’
Emma Baker, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale said: ‘Not only is this a landmark work within David Hockney’s oeuvre, it’s an icon of Pop that defined an era and also gave a visual identity to LA. Even looking beyond the twentieth century, few artworks have attained as mythic a status as this painting. Equally as recognisable as Munch’s series of screams, Monet’s water lilies or Van Gogh’s flowers, Hockney’s splash is ingrained within our cultural imagination.’
7 – 11 February 2020
Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond St, Mayfair, London W1S 2RT