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  • Provenance

    Annely Juda Fine Art, London
    Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    “If you see the world as beautiful, thrilling and mysterious, as I think I do, then you feel quite alive.” - David Hockney

    “People said that the new paintings had a three-dimensional look. I feel that is true, in the sense that they have two spatial dimensions – vertical and horizontal – and that the third dimension is of course time, the time you give a picture when you look at it and it pulls you in and moves you round and you therefore become aware of taking time.” (The artist in That’s the way I see it, London, 1993, p. 234)

    The undulating, vibrant forms of David Hockney’s The Eighteenth V.N. Painting transcend the boundaries of both space and time, capturing the visceral experience of abstraction. One of the twenty-six works that comprise the artist’s Very New Paintings series from 1992, the present work radiates with kaleidoscopic energy, inviting the viewer to perceive and mold his own animated, exotic landscape.

    Both a departure from and continuation of Hockney’s prior practice, The Very New Paintings are a material and theoretical manifestation of the artist’s experience in theatre and opera set design, synthesized with imagery of the bright, dynamic California landscapes so dominant in Hockney’s work in the 1960’s and early 1970s. Echoing the abstract landscapes that Hockney created for productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten and Turandot, The Eighteenth V.N. Painting also challenges traditional concepts of depth perception and perspective in a manner evocative of early modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh in his Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles (Paris, Musée d’Orsay).

    Hockney’s painterly experimentation in The Very New Paintings partially derives from his philosophical awareness of “...nature both in its physical forms and in its invisible forces” (ibid, p. 236). Highly stylized, the bold, spherical contours found in The Eighteenth V.N. Painting awaken the senses, balancing the work’s intangible, seductive energy with an impressive exploration of textural elements. Informed by Hockney’s earlier fax drawings in which textural representations supplanted the use of color and form, the present painting unifies these visual and transcendent elements, suggesting corporeality without certainty; the artist implicitly welcomes the viewer into the painting, encouraging an exploration of the “internal landscape.”

  • Artist Biography

    David Hockney

    British • 1937

    With a career stretching from the early 1960s to the present, David Hockney is perhaps best known for his bright, cheerful works depicting pools and other everyday scenes from his life in southern California. Originally from West Yorkshire, England, Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art in London before spending decades on both sides of the Atlantic. The artist got his start as part of the British Pop movement, though he’s also cited Modern masters like Picasso and Matisse as major influences on his unique style. 

    Having worked in mediums such as painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and more, Hockney is among the most versatile artists of his time. Drawing on his lived experience, Hockney imparts obvious references to same-sex love and companionship in his work, a motif that began even before Britain decriminalized homosexuality in 1967. His work in present in the collections of institutions such as MoMA, the Pompidou and the Tate, which granted him a blockbuster career retrospective in 2017. At present, Hockney is one of the most expensive living artists to be sold at auction. 

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The Eighteenth V.N. Painting

oil on canvas
36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm.)
Signed, titled and dated "David Hockney 92 The Eighteenth VN Painting" on the reverse.

$450,000 - 550,000 

Sold for $869,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Evening Sale
[email protected]
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 11 November 2013 7PM