David Hockney painting sells for a record $90 million

Key Points
  • "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" by David Hockney has sold for a record price.
  • It was auctioned by Christie's in New York on Thursday.
A crowd of people attend the sale where David Hockney's Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) is displayed at Christie's in New York.
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images

A painting by British artist David Hockney has sold for more than $90 million — a world record price for a work by a living artist.

"Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" was sold at auction in New York for $90,312,500, Christie's auction house announced Friday.

Bidding on the 1972 painting opened at $18 million and quickly surpassed the previous record held by "Balloon Dog (Orange)," a piece by Jeff Koons that sold for $58 million in 2013.

Hockney's painting, described by Christie's as a "masterpiece," was sold in under 10 minutes.

It appeared last year in an exhibition named after the artist, opening at London's Tate Britain in February before touring to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The artist abandoned the painting in 1971 before returning to the idea the following year. It was completed the night before being transported to New York's Andre Emmerich Gallery for exhibition.