Hockney, de Kooning highlight NY contemporary art auction

NEW YORK (AP) — A monumental landscape by David Hockney could set an auction record for the British artist at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale Thursday evening.

The auction house believes “Woldgate Woods, 24, 25, 26 October, 2006” could bring between $9 million and $12 million.

The current Hockney auction record is $7.9 million.

Paintings by Gerhard Richter, Willem de Kooning and Jean-Michel Basquiat also are expected to generate spirited bidding

Hockney’s autumnal scene is part of a series of paintings inspired by the countryside of Yorkshire, England. The painting, measuring over 10 feet wide, is composed of six connected canvases. Sotheby’s said Hockney devised the method because of the narrow staircase of his studio.

It was included in a Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 2012. Next February, the Tate Britain plans a retrospective of the artist’s works.

Two works by Richter, the German abstract painter, are being offered with a pre-sale estimate of between $20 million and $30 million.

“A B, St. James,” a richly textured painting of red, orange, yellow, green and aquamarine blue, belongs to a series of “London Paintings” that Richter created after visiting the England capital in 1987. It is one of five executed with a horizontal orientation.

“A B, Still” is a brighter work dominated by a fiery red and cool blue with yellow scattered across the canvas.

A monumental six-panel frieze by Basquiat titled “Brother’s Sausage” is estimated to sell for between $15 million and $20 million. The young artist created it in 1983, touching on themes of prejudice, inequality and greed.

Sotheby’s said “Untitled,” an expressive oil painting bursting with color by de Kooning from 1976-1977 could bring between $8 million to $12 million.

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