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  • THE SPLASH SET TO MAKE SALEROOM WAVES

    David Hockney’s The Splash will highlight Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in London on February 11. It is estimated at £20-30 million, over six times the price achieved when it last sold at auction for £2.9 million at Sotheby’s London in 2006. That was then an auction record for a Hockney.

    Painted in 1966, The Splash immortalises a fleeting moment just seconds after a diver has broken the calm surface of a swimming pool. The painting’s protagonist is present, yet absent, masked by a torrent of displaced water. The work is a quintessential example of Hockney’s lifelong fascination with the texture, appearance and depth of water – a fascination which culminated in one of the most celebrated and instantly recognisable bodies of work in 20th century art.

    It is the second in a series of three ‘splashes’, the largest and final of which, A Bigger Splash is in the Tate collection in London. These paintings represent the apex of Hockney’s Californian fantasy. Created at a watershed moment in his career, the three ‘splashes’ secured the artist’s international reputation as a leading artist of his generation and confirmed his unrivalled ability to combine elements of disparate movements – Minimalism, Modernist Abstraction and Pop Art – into a new style entirely of his own.

    David Hockney, The Splash, 1966

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