Sotheby’s. The Contemporary Art Sale achieved £68.7 million in London. The second highest price ever achieved for David Hockey as 15 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon.

David Hockney
oil on canvas, in 15 parts
overall: 169 by 166.5 cm. 66 1/2 by 65 1/2 in.
Executed in 1998.
15 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon is a masterful and immersive symphony of paint that epitomises David Hockney’s idiosyncratic style. A panorama of chromatic wonder, Hockney’s vision of the Grand Canyon is steeped in his knowledge of art history and the significance of this site as a cornerstone of the American cultural consciousness. A high horizon line evokes the enormity of the landscape and recalls the work of panoramic painters from the Nineteenth Century, while Hockney’s remarkable use of colour provokes comparisons with the Fauves of the early Twentieth. Painted in preparation for A Bigger Grand Canyon, the seven and a half metre wide painting housed the National Gallery of Australia, the present work’s importance is clearly indicated by its inclusion in some of the most important exhibitions of the artist’s work since its execution, including his major 1999 exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and his blockbuster retrospective in London at Tate Britain in early 2017. Hockney’s status as England’s greatest and best-loved living painter has been cemented by these landscape paintings, and the present work, one of the greatest examples in private hands, is a perfect example of the style that has catapulted him to international acclaim.