In 2023, David Hockney demonstrated outstanding performance in the print market, attributed to his prolific artistic output across various mediums. Hockney's print market achieved impressive sales of £10.5 million (hammer) and 490 lots sold, showcasing resilience amid the economic challenges of 2023. With consistent year-on-year (YoY) growth since 2020, Hockney's print market remains competitive. Although the average selling price (ASP) decreased in 2023, a 50% surge in lots sold underscores the enduring strength and investment appeal of his prints. .
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Here are Hockney's top 10 most investable prints:
A Rake's Progress (1961-1963) consists of 16 etchings by Hockney, reimagining William Hogarth's 18th-century series of the same name. Initially planned as 24 etchings, printing challenges led to the final count of 16. This portfolio traces the journey of a young gay man in the city, blending Hogarth's original narrative with Hockney's autobiographical elements. The decline of Hogarth's character is mirrored in Hockney's protagonist, reflecting societal shifts.
Completed in 1963, this early Hockney work gained significant traction in 2023, reflecting his rising popularity. Hockney's art communicates universally, embracing honesty and humour. The complete set reappeared at Christie's in April 2023, marking its first appearance since 2017 and only the third time at auction. Surpassing its previous record of £15,625, it sold for an impressive £435,482 (with fees), solidifying its position as Hockney's top-selling piece in 2023 and showcasing substantial value appreciation over five years.
In January 2023, Hockney's Dog Wall (complete set) (1987) fetched £327,600 (with fees) at Phillips, marking his second highest sale in 2023 and setting an auction record. This set of 15 etchings surpassed its previous sale price at Sotheby's in November 2015, demonstrating a 3.6-fold increase in value over an eight-year period. Complete sets, especially from American Pop and Contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, have gained increased collector interest. Dog Wall pays tribute to Hockney's beloved dachshunds, Stanley and Little Boodgie. Hockney's talent lies in capturing charming and universal imagery, making his works highly appealing.
Part of Hockney's acclaimed series, these en plein air sketches are also featured in his immensely popular iPad drawings. Consisting of 20 prints, Hockney's Yosemite artworks initially entered the market in 2010, fetching tens of thousands. Today, their value has soared to the hundreds of thousands. Yosemite II, October 16th, 2011 from this series appeared twice on the secondary market, first in 2020 and again in March 2023, achieving a sale price of £313,902 (with fees). This marked a 5% increase from its previous sale, securing its position as Hockney's third top-selling print in 2023, highlighting the enduring allure of these sought-after pieces.
Caribbean Tea Time (1987) is a notable piece from Hockney's Interiors and Exteriors series from the 1980s. What sets these works apart is the absence of a sitter; instead, the focus is on the intimate interplay between interior and exterior spaces. This particular artwork features vibrant colours in an abstract cubist format and is presented on a folding screen. Remarkably rare in the market, it resurfaced in May 2023, fetching £303,305 (with fees). In a previous sale in 2021, it sold for £94,302 (with fees), marking a significant increase of 3.2 times in value. With six appearances in the secondary market, each sale has demonstrated a consistent uptrend, showcasing the enduring strength and resilience of Hockney's market influence.
Another gem from Hockney's Digital Drawings collection, The Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate East Yorkshire 6th May 2011, is part of The Arrival of Spring series. Limited to editions of 25, these pieces have consistently grown in desirability and value over time. This specific artwork made headlines at Bonhams in April 2023, setting a record as the highest-selling piece from the series and securing a spot among Hockney's top print sellers for 2023. It fetched £277,200 (with fees), marking its second appearance on the secondary market and an impressive 2.79 times increase in sales value since its initial sale in 2018.
In 2023, Hockney's The Weather Series (1973), a collection of ten prints inspired from his trip to Japan, left a substantial mark on the 2023 art market. While certain individual works from this series appear on the market sporadically, most are incredibly rare. This year witnessed multiple individual works from the series set new records, but the standout moment was the complete set's return after a decade-long absence. It made a strong impression at Christie's October sale, achieving £228,651, securing a spot among Hockney's top-selling works in 2023.
In The Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate, East Yorkshire 2nd January 2011, Hockney captures the essence of winter in Yorkshire. The artwork portrays the crisp Yorkshire air through the lush pink road dividing the vibrant greenery. A reflective puddle at the centre mirrors the trees and sun, reminiscent of the rainy season. This piece has graced the secondary market twice. Initially selling for £77,500 (with fees) in 2018, it resurfaced in September 2023, fetching £228,600 (with fees) – a nearly threefold increase in value. This remarkable surge places it among Hockney's top-selling prints for 2023.
The Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate East Yorkshire 31st May 2011 secures its spot among Hockney's top-selling prints of 2023. A winding pink road stretches into the distance, framed by tree shadows cast onto the pavement. Blossoming flowers adorn the landscape under a blue sky with drifting white clouds, capturing the essence of the Yorkshire countryside. This artwork fetched £214,200 (with fees) in its second market appearance, having initially sold for £62,500 at Phillips. This recent sale in January 2023 reflects a remarkable 3.4-fold increase in sales value.
Lithograph Of Water Made Of Lines, A Green Wash, And A Light Blue Wash (1980) is a notable piece from Hockney's Swimming Pool series. Throughout his career, Hockney has been captivated by swimming pools, a fascination sparked during his move to Los Angeles in the 1960s. This iconic motif has become synonymous with Hockney's artistry. In this particular artwork, Hockney skilfully renders the pool's transparency, revealing its floor and animating the water with lively squiggly lines, capturing the essence of a clear day. Hockney's pool-themed creations, like this one, have stood the test of time, resonating widely in 2023's art market. This specific piece fetched £214,200 (with fees) in January 2023, securing its place among Hockney's top ten print works for the year and setting a record price for a pool work in this style.
In The Arrival Of Spring In Woldgate East Yorkshire 17th May 2011, Hockney offers a close-up view of spring's vibrant bloom, capturing the intricate details of tiny flowers emerging from lush green grass. Unlike his other works in the series, this print delves into an intimate portrait of nature. Making its market debut in January 2023, this piece fetched £189,000 (with fees), showcasing the series' prominence and desirability while securing a spot among Hockney's top-selling works.
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