OVER one hundred pieces of artwork by David Hockney raised around £1.4 million during an auction in London.
The past few years have seen Hockney, who lives in Bridlington, experiment with new ways to create art but the auction, held at Christie’s in London on February 17, focussed on work made with the most basic of materials.
Hockney on Paper saw 114 works, such as a 1954 lithograph of a Bradford fish and chip shop, to photomontages of the 1980s, go under the hammer.
The most expensive image sold was a crayon and coloured pencil view of Los Angeles, which sold for £121,250.
Hockney’s current show at London’s Royal Academy features landscape scenes from the Wolds countryside around Bridlington, runs until April 9 and has received huge public acclaim - seeing record demand for tickets, which at one point jammed telephone lines and caused the Academy’s online booking system to crash..
While the public have voted with their feet to make the exhibition a sell out, some critics have been less enthusiastic.
However Hockney, speaking to the Guardian newspaper, said that he had watched the reaction unfold on Twitter, although he did not tweet himself.
He said: “The show is actually one enormous piece, and people who don’t get that pick out bits and little points – not very smart, really.
“Especially for a landscape show, if people are queueing for it, it tells you something. We’re very, very pleased with the response – and I’m not complaining about the press. Of course not. It doesn’t matter what they say either.”
The work for his ‘Bigger Picture’ exhibition - his first major landscape exhibition in the UK - was produced in his Bridlington studio, along with a film made from capturing nearby Woldgate from nine high definition cameras mounted on a Jeep.
The film moves through the seasons showing the changing conditions and is played back on eighteen screens - leading Hockney to refer to the town as ‘Bridlywood’.
Bridlington Town Council recently took a suggestion from one resident to make Bradford born Hockney a Freeman of the Town.
The Town Council wrote to East Riding of Yorkshire Council about the possibility of giving Hockney, routinely called Britain’s greatest living artist, the freedom of the town as well as renaming the Spa gallery after him.
Resident Dennis Ashby suggested the idea at January’s Bridlington Town Council full meeting.