Hockney, Hopper chase headlines at NY art sales

  • Saturday 10, November 2018 in 10:07 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: A year after the art market was changed forever by the eye-watering $450.3 million sale of a Leonardo da Vinci, fall auction season is back, looking to crack new records for artists, albeit from less illustrious heights.
The headliners next week in New York, the capital of the international art market, are an Edward Hopper, America's most popular modernist, valued at $100 million, and British living legend David Hockney, whose iconic swimming pool picture painted after a break-up is estimated to fetch $80 million.
 
In the spring, Christie's sale of the iconic Rockefeller art collection for $832 million set a new benchmark for billionaires and millionaires who might be looking to offload their own collections.
 
This fall, several other collections will go under the hammer, as the wealthy who amassed art in the mid-20th century either die off or look to pass the baton to a new, increasingly international generation.
 
Chief among them is the remarkable collection of 20th century American art of US entrepreneur Barney Ebsworth, who made his fortune in travel and cruises. He died in April this year.
 
The highlight of his holdings is 1929 canvas "Chop Suey" by Hopper, which Christie's will be auctioning for an estimated $70-100 million.
 
That would be a whopping profit. 
 
Ebsworth bought the work in 1973 for $180,000 and the painting should easily set a new auction record for the artist -- currently $40.4 million paid in 2013 for "East Wind Over Weehawken."
 
Several other works this season could also cross the symbolic threshold of $100 million, which these days won't even necessarily make the top 10 works of art sold at auction.