David Hockney Double Portrait of Gay Couple Sells for Nearly $50 Million

A David Hockney painting of his friend Henry Geldzahler and Geldzahler’s then-partner Christopher Scott has sold at Christie’s London auction house for $49.5 million.

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David Hockney’s ‘Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott’ – the third work in his career-defining series of double-portraits – depicts the artist’s close friend, curator Henry Geldzahler, and Geldazhler’s then-partner, painter Christopher Scott.⠀ .⠀ The painting is a composite of elements in each man’s life: the Art Deco sofa from Gelzahler’s New York living room, the view from Scott’s study, and a vase of tulips thought to symbolise the artist himself.⠀ .⠀ Offered as part of our 20th Century auctions in London in March 2019, this masterpiece is the final work to be sold from the prestigious Barney A. Ebsworth Collection.⠀ .⠀ David Hockney (b. 1937), ‘Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott’, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 84 x 120 in. (214 x 305 cm.).⠀ .⠀ Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction – 6 March 2019 at Christie’s London.⠀ .⠀ #davidhockney #hockney #doubleportrait #portrait #painting #contemporaryart #art #artwork #artist

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The sale follows another whopper auction of a Hockney work featuring gay men in November, when the artist’s 1972 painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) broke the auction record for a living artist, selling for $90.3 million at Christie’s. It was painted three years after Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott, which launched the colossal portrait phase in Hockney’s career.

Geldzahler was the first curator of the Modern wing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and NYC’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and became close with many of the artists he celebrated, including Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Francesco Clemente. Geldzahler died of liver cancer in 1994 at 59.

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