Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction, 6th March.
Pictured: David Hockney, Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott, 1969.
On Wednesday 6th March, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary auction will feature works by several leading modern and contemporary British artists, including David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Antony Gormley, Howard Hodgkin and Cecily Brown. The works by such artists appearing in the sale suggest just how much these British artists have shaped the art of the past 50 years.
In a double portrait, Henry Geldzahler, a prolific figure on the New York art scene in the latter half of the twentieth century, is depicted by Hockney in the mirrorless apartment he shared with his partner Christopher Scott. The Pop-Art palette adopted by Hockney soon after his arrival in California in the early 60s was in its early stages of development. The third of a series of double portraits that Hockney executed at the time during which he began to receive acclaim. David Hockney had first met Henry Geldzahler in Andy Warhol’s ‘factory’ six years prior to the completion of the painting. It was a love of opera that first established a bond between the two artistic figures and which took them on numerous trips abroad together over the course of their friendship. As well as marking an important moment in Hockney’s career, the painting also captures Geldzahler at a fundamental moment in his career when he was organising the landmark show ‘New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he was a successful curator for 18 years. This milestone piece is estimated at 30 million (Forbes).
Another fantastic piece to appear on Wednesday is Cecily Brown’s ‘Night Passage’, executed in 1999. Brown's vigour in keeping the medium of oil paint alive whilst her contemporaries were straying away from it is powerfully displayed in this piece. The influence of American Abstract Expressionism is immediate apparent, the colour palette recalling Willem De Kooning’s work. The sale of this stunning piece coincides with a major exhibition of the artist’s work at the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, 'Where, When, How Often and With Whom', until 10th March.
The striking palette and direct reference to the act of looking in Peter Doig’s Haus de Bilder makes for a vibrant, somewhat unsettling piece. There is a dreamlike, otherworldly overall feel to the painting, which was inspired by a window display Doig stumbled upon near his studio in Vienna, which he stated ‘had a magical feel from the outside’, though claimed to never have entered. The question of what lies beyond the outer window is left for the viewer to imagine.