Are David Hockney prints a good investment?

Factors that will affect the Investment Value of a Hockney Print


English artist David Hockney is a revered and influential figure within the pop art scene, celebrated for his innovative use of / and mastery across various mediums, his paintings, drawings, prints, photography, and digital works are particularly sought after. He achieved the record for the most expensive artwork by a living artist sold at auction in November 2018 for his acrylic on canvas work, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), which sold for £70 million.

Born in West Riding, Yorkshire in 1937, Hockney discovered printmaking during his studies at the Bradford College of Art, and his 1954 Self-Portrait lithograph is considered one of his earliest experiments with printmaking. He later attended the Royal College of Art where he was featured in the exhibition of New Contemporaries, which highlighted the emergence of the British Pop art movement.


David Hockney (b.1937), California Scene

Sold for £2,200


Highly acclaimed for his use of evolving technology, the market for David Hockney prints has experienced a consistent year-on-year growth, with his works achieving over £10 million at auction in 2023. Signed limited edition Hockney prints consistently achieve anywhere from £1,000 to over £500,000 when sold at auction.

Hockney’s early work focused on etching, lithography, and aquatint. A particularly well-known and historically significant piece from this period was one of his “graphic tales” titled “A Rake’s Progress (1963)” comprising a portfolio of 16 etchings after Hogarth, which achieved just shy of £436,000 at auction last year.


David Hockney RA (b.1937), 'Digging Up Glass'

Sold for £1,400


In 1965 Hockney collaborated with Gemini G.E.L to produce Los Angeles themed “The Hollywood Collection”, and he would go on to produce many other portfolios with the LA based print workshop including “Friends”, “The Weather Series”, and “Some New Prints”. Throughout the 60s and 70s Hockney produced large colourful lithographs often featuring swimming pools and intimate portraits.

By the mid-80s Hockney started using photocopy machines, fax machines and computers to create his homemade prints. Since 2009 he has painted hundreds of portraits, still lifes, and landscapes using the Brushes iPhone and iPad apps, and in 2012 he produced more than a hundred prints of the landscape and changing seasons in Yorkshire using his iPad. His bold use of technology is testament to his pioneering skills, unwavering quest for new modes of expression, and desire to challenge the boundaries of traditional art.


A pencil-signed David Hockney exhibition poster

Sold for £950


Factors that will affect the investment value of a Hockney print include the subject, edition, size, rarity, condition, and provenance, as well as the current market demand. Like other artists, Hockney’s “classic” prints and limited editions remain enduringly popular.

Considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Hockney’s work is featured in galleries and museums around the world, adding to the value, appeal, and investment potential of his works. Collectors have enjoyed phenomenal returns on their Hockney pieces in recent years, and consequently, his prints provide an accessible option to enjoy and invest in his artwork. As the demand for his work remains high and prices continue to appreciate, a Hockney print could prove to be a very sound financial investment.


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