David Hockney's Woldgate Woods sets new artist record

David Hockney's Woldgate Woods 24, 25 and 26 2006 was among the highlights of Sotheby's contemporary art evening auction in New York on November 17.

The work realised $11.7m.

David Hockney Woldgate
Hockney returned to his native Yorkshire in the early 2000s 

That's a new record for Hockney at auction, edging out the $7.9m paid for his iconic Beverly Hills Housewife in 2009.

Woldgate Woods is part of a series of paintings produced en plein air in the unremarkable town of Bridlington in Hockney's native Yorkshire.

He explained what drew him back, after decades spent living and working in California: "Around Bridlington, I was painting the land, land that I myself had worked.

"I had dwelt in those fields, so that out there, seeing, for me, necessarily came steeped in memory."  

Hockney will be the subject of a Tate Britain retrospective in 2017.

Gerhard Richter's A B, Still (1986) also featured, achieving a final bid of $33.9m.

It's a well-known piece from the artist's long running Abstraktes Bild series.

Earlier in the week Richter's Dusenjager achieved $27.1m at Phillips.

Other sales held in New York this week saw records set for Monet, Kandinsky and De Kooning.

The market is clearly still in rude health, despite the continuing global financial uncertainty.

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