• Post-War and Contemporary Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 1107

    Post-War and Contemporary Art (Day Auction)

    14 February 2013, London, King Street

  • Lot 190

    David Hockney (b. 1937)

    The Fifth V.N. Painting

    Price Realised  


    David Hockney (b. 1937)
    The Fifth V.N. Painting
    signed, titled and dated 'David Hockney 92 The fifth VN painting' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    24 x 36in. (61 x 91.5cm.)
    Painted in 1992

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    Painted in 1992, Fifth V.N Painting represents the culmination of the themes and visual language that David Hockney has engaged in over the past three decades. Forming part of the important Very New Paintings series which spanned from 1992 -1993, this series of twenty-six abstracted landscapes evoke the warm climate and diverse terrain of California, where Hockney had been living since the mid-1960s. The tumbling, interwoven forms in this work conjure images of the lapping waves and coastal shore line of the ocean that Hockney could see from his Malibu beach house; the deep orange ground recalls a dazzling sunset sky.

    This cycle of work reflects a particularly experimental phase of Hockney's career. The Very New Paintings series was conceived directly following Hockney's designs for the Die Frau ohne Schatten opera in Covent Garden. In Fifth V.N Painting, the dramatic theatrically of the opera continues in Hockey's expressionistic abstraction of the Californian terrain. When he returned to work on canvases of the scale of Fifth V.N Painting Hockney found a greater freedom to be inventive with space and form. The entwined fluid and lyrical forms explore spatial composition in a way that reflects Hockney's profound admiration for Picasso, in particular the way in which Cubism is able to insinuate a multiplicity of perspectives on one picture plane. The voluminous shapes and bold patterns of Fifth V.N Painting are the result of the artist's exploration into mixed media, developing a system of glazing that imparted a sense of luminosity into his painting. Speaking of this series, Hockney recalled, 'I soon realized that what I was doing was making internal landscapes, using different marks and textures to create space, so that the viewer wanders around' (D. Hockney, That's the way I see it, London, 1993, p. 230). This interest in landscape has remained a constant source of inspiration for Hockney, informing the large scale landscapes featured in A Bigger Picture exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, last year.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.


    André Emmerich Gallery, New York.
    William Hardie Gallery, Glasgow.
    LA Louver Gallery, Los Angeles.
    Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago.
    Tina Kim Fine Art, New York.
    Private Collection, Seoul (and thence by descent to the present owner).


    N. Stangos (ed.), David Hockney. That's the way I see it, London 1993 (installation view, illustrated in colour, pp. 230-231).
    P. Clothier, David Hockney, New York 1995, fig. 110 (installation view, illustrated in colour, p. 110).


    New York, André Emmerich Gallery, David Hockney: Some Very New Paintings, 1993 (illustrated in colour, p. 6).
    Glasgow, William Hardie Gallery, David Hockney: Some Very New Paintings, 1993, no. 8 (illustrated in colour, p. 27).
    Saltaire, 1853 Gallery, David Hockney, 1993.