One of David Hockney's flat and colorful California paintings could set a record for a work by Hockney when it comes up for sale at Christie's Rockefeller Center on May 13. The painting shown above, "Beverly Hills Housewife," depicts the late owner, arts patron Betty Freeman. It measures 12 feet long and 6 feet high and is estimated at $7-$10 million. The work is part of 19 of the contemporary paintings in her collection that includes pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Dan Flavin and Andy Warhol. The paintings could bring in a total of $26 million to $40 million.
According to an AP article on the collection, Freeman sounds like a fascinating lady. She met Hockney in the early 1960s and was intensely involved in the arts, serving as a patron for composers. Trained as a concert pianist in her youth, she later became a photographer who took pictures of the composers and musicians she supported. Whoever picks up the Hockney will acquire not just a great painting but a reminder of a life well lived.