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Hockney's 'The Splash' sells for $5.35 million

June 22, 2006|From Times staff and wire reports

David Hockney's "The Splash," a 1966 swimming pool painting once owned by movie mogul David Geffen, sold for a record $5.35 million Wednesday at a Sotheby's Holdings auction in London.

The buyer at Sotheby's contemporary sale was the New York art advisory firm Eykyn Maclean. Sotheby's did not name the seller, but the painting was lent to an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2000 that identified the owner as Norman Pattiz, founder and chairman of Culver City-based radio giant Westwood One.

The centerpiece of "The Splash" is a turquoise splash of water just made by an unseen diver in the backyard swimming pool of a California ranch house. While Hockney made many swimming pool images, his efforts to fix a spray of water in paint are rarer, and more prized. London's Tate Modern museum owns "A Bigger Splash," and "A Little Splash" is in a private collection, Sotheby's said.

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From Times staff and wire reports

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