20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York
Location: Phillips New York
Address: 450 Park Avenue
The countdown has begun for the evening auction of contemporary art planned by Phillips on 20 December. The anticipation is all about David Hockney and his Nichols Canyon, a painting overflowing with energy and estimated at around 35 million dollars. Considered the most important landscape by Hockney still in private hands, the painting is also the most costly ever put up at auction. If expectations are met, it is possible that Nichols Canyon sets an all-time record for the pioneer of British Pop Art. How come? It’s easy to understand why. Dated 1980, the work represents a crucial passage in the career of the tireless painter from Bradford - after the artist’s move to California and the famous “swimming pool” series, Hockney started doing landscapes, a passion that would stay with him for the rest of his life. He was inspired by the hills of Nichols Canyon, outside Los Angeles, where the artist set up his headquarters. However, the panorama is transformed on the canvas, with vivid colours and dynamic brushstrokes which remind some of the style of the Fauves. At the centre, a dark and sinuous band depicts the road that Hockney took daily from his home at the top of a hill down to his studio. “Once you live here, you have another vision of Los Angeles. These lines seem to enter you life,” said the artist, who found his promised land in sunny California and inspiration to last a lifetime.