David Hockney, born 9 July 1937, studied at the Royal College of Art and later the Bradford School of Art, is considered to be one of the most prolific living British artists.
Although in retrospect it seems that British artist David Hockney’s work was known since his student days at the Bradford School of Art, few works from this period have achieved high prices at auction. An exception is the self-portrait from 1954, which sold for $643,094 at Sotheby’s London in February 2014. An example of the more typical prices for this earlier period is the 1955, Bradford Street Scene that sold at Bonham’s New York in July of 2008 for $31,106.
While beginning graduate studies at the Royal College of Art in London Hockney met R.B. Kitaj, Francis Bacon and Richard Hamilton since they were visiting artists at the college and began working in a more abstract manner related to the work of Jean Dubuffet. In 1963, at the John Kasmin Gallery in London Hockney’s Procession of Dignitaries in the Semi-Egyptian Style was sold in a one-man exhibition and in 1989 it sold again, at Sotheby’s New York, for $2,200,000. Another picture from the same sold-out Kasmin show was spoken for at Christie’s auction in February 2013 for $5,459,595.
In 1964 the British artist moved to sunny California which opened up a new art vista that brought in the intensity of sunlight on more schematized and patterned images wrought of acrylic paint. Hhis 1966 Beverly Hills Housewife, a tranquil rendering of a blonde woman in a lilac gorn moving across a perfectly arranged living room, sold at Christie’s New York in May of 2009 for $7,922,500. Since then Hockney has returned to London to live. In the last five years all ten of his most expensive works at auction were painted in 1963 or later.