David Hockney's 1980 painting, Nichols Canyon, is set to auction in December and is expected to fetch upwards of $35 million. The coveted landscape will be included in Phillips' 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York City, which is scheduled for December 7.
“Nichols Canyon is, without question, the most significant landscape by Hockney to ever appear at auction,” Phillips’ deputy chairman Jean-Paul Engelen said in a statement. He went on to add that it is the artist's first landscape painting valued at more than $30 million, rivaling the price of his figurative works.
Nichols Canyon accounts for one of two notable works Hockney completed following a hiatus from painting in the 1970s when he explored photography. The other is Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio. Both Nichols Canyon and Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio are in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills neighborhood. Hockney began painting the landscapes after being overtaken by the beautiful scenery during his drives between his home up the hills and his studio down the hills.
Hockney sold Nichols Canyon to New York's André Emmerich Gallery in the early '80s, and it then made its way to an anonymous, private collector in 1982, where it has remained in the family leading up to Phillips' NY auction. Prior to the December 7 sale, the painting will be on display at Phillips in London from October 26 to November 1, Hong Kong from November 6 to November 9, and in New York, with dates to be announced.