Seminal pop art painting "The Splash" by David Hockey sold for 23.1 million British pounds (29.8 million U.S. dollars) at a London auction on Tuesday, the third-highest price paid for a work by the British artist.
"The Splash," which was painted in 1966, depicts the moment just after a diver has broken the surface of a swimming pool, capturing the fantasy Californian lifestyle.
"Not only is this a landmark work within David Hockney's oeuvre, it's an icon of Pop that defined an era and also gave visual identity to LA," said Emma Baker, head of the contemporary art sale at London's Sotheby's auction house.
Sotheby's also called the work "a quintessential example of Hockney's lifelong fascination with the texture, appearance and depth of water."
The price, bid by an unknown buyer, is nearly eight times of when the work was last sold at an auction for 2.9 million British pounds in 2006.
Yorkshire-born Hockney's "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" sold for over 90 million U.S. dollars in New York in 2018, an auction record at the time for a work by a living artist.
Last year, "The Splash" was exhibited in Beijing at the exhibition entitled "David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection."
The exhibition spans his career from the mid 1950s to the present, and demonstrates the range of possibilities in his work, not only within the traditional areas of painting, printmaking and drawing, but also in his more recent use of photography and digital technologies. It was concluded in January this year.
The exhibition also revealed how Chinese painting has continued to have a profound influence on Hockney's practice in terms of painting theory and technique.
China becomes EU's top trading partner in first 7 months: Eurostat
UK takes "major step" towards joining Trans-Pacific free trade group: gov't
Japan's former ministers Kishida and Ishiba to run in party leadership race
UN 75: China publishes position paper on post-COVID-19 world order, 5G and data security
Wildfire smoke increases the risk of COVID-19, experts warn
Disposable masks may pose environmental threat