Between 1968 and 1977 he makes double portraits in very large format, 214 x 305 cm. He alternates between homosexual and heterosexual couples and ends the series with his own parents, clearly assessing that his concern is no longer sex but dialogue. The sitters are most often identified in the title and are very recognizable.
Invariably the two characters are distant from each other with a deliberately orthogonal gazing. In this strange intimacy, the painter is an invisible social voyeur.
Installed again in London in 1968, he does not neglect America. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is preparing a major exhibition that will reveal post-war American art to the general public. The curator of this important cultural operation is the highly influential Henry Geldzahler.
Hockney arrives in Geldzahler's living room in Manhattan with his sketchbook, polaroid camera and flu. Back in his studio in London, he paints in 1969 'Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott'. This acrylic on canvas will be sold by Christie's in London on March 6, lot 8. The December 17 press release announces an estimate in excess of £ 30M.
The two men could not be more dissimilar and yet their life as a couple is sustainable. Robust and confident in himself, Geldzahler is comfortably seated in the middle of a beautiful sofa worthy of the greatest Art Deco collections. On the right, his young partner is standing, dressed in a raincoat too big for him and as stiff as the floor lamp. The scene is located by the skyscrapers beyond the small window.
SOLD for £ 38M including premium