Hockney painting makes splash, sells at auction for $30M

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Two Sotheby’s employees adjust David Hockney’s painting ‘The Splash’ at Sotheby’s contemporary Art sale preview in London, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. The Contemporary Art Auction will take place on evening of February 11 where ‘The Splash’ is estimated at 20-30 million GBP, 25-38 million USD. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

LONDON (AP) — David Hockney’s exuberant painting “The Splash” sold at auction Tuesday for almost $30 million.

The painting fetched 23.1 million pounds ($30 million) at Sotheby’s in London. Its pre-sale estimate had been 20 million pounds to 30 million pounds,

Painted in 1966, Hockney’s bold canvas shows a California swimming pool in the moment after a diver has leapt in.

Hockney left gray Britain for southern California in the 1960s, and captured the intense LA light and the rippling surface of swimming pools in a series of paintings including “A Little Splash” and “A Bigger Splash.”

“The Splash” was last sold in 2006, when it fetched $5.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction — at the time, a record for Hockney’s work.

The current record price for a work by the 82-year-old artist is 70 million pounds ($90 million), paid at a Christie’s auction in 2018 for another pool painting, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures).”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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