Account Of An Artist (Pool With Two Figures) from 1972 sold for very recently more than $90million at Christie’s in New York. The previous information for a work by a living artist was £45million, paid for a Balloon Dog form by American Jeff Koons, in 2013. Hockney’s painting shows two men, one doing the breaststroke at the beck water while the other watches from the side of the pool.
The regular figure in the painting is said to represent Hockney’s former partner Peter Schlesinger, whom the painter met in 1966 while enlightening art in California.
Yorkshireman Hockney, now 81, had begun the work when they split up in 1971.
After a give way, he went back to finish it the following year.
Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and concomitant art at Christie’s in New York, said the picture sold on Thursday is “the holy grail” of Hockney’s mould.
He said: “It has all the elements that you would want in a Hockney painting. The California aspect, the beautiful trees and flowers and the sky and what we know him most for, which is the cartel.”
Christie’s has declined to reveal the name of the seller.
However, it is reported to be businessman Joe Lewis, an 81-year-old investor who owns the Tavistock Heap and Tottenham Hotspur.
He is estimated to be worth £3.8billion.
Other highlights of the cut-price included Francis Bacon’s Study Of Henrietta Moraes Laughing, which grass oned for almost £17million, and Alexander Calder’s 21 Feuilles Blanches, which doubled its assessment, selling for around £14million.
Hockney is considered to be one of the most efficacious artists of the 20th century.
His previous auction record was £22million, paid for his 10ft vista Pacific Coast Highway And Santa Monica, painted in 1990.