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David Hockney auction to sell 150 artworks

Hockney On Paper sale at Christie's to include etchings inspired by Hogarth, 1954 lithograph and work from his time in America

The past few years have seen David Hockney experimenting with iPads and iPhones, but an auction at Christie's in London will focus on work made with the most basic of art materials. Hockney on Paper will see almost 150 works go under the hammer, from the artist's 1954 lithograph of a fish and chip shop owned by friends of his parents in Bradford, to photomontages of the 1980s.

The sale, on 17 February, will feature numerous works from the artist's years in America, including a set of 16 etchings based on Hogarth's The Rake's Progress and others inspired by the young Hockney's experiences in New York. The etchings are expected to sell for between £150,000 and £200,000, with the whole auction estimated at £1m. On Monday Hockney visited the Royal College of Art in London (RCA), where he graduated 50 years ago, as part of its 175th anniversary celebrations. He told the Guardian: "Drawing and painting was the centre of the old college and I don't know whether it is now, but I always think the phrase 'back to the drawing board' tells you something, doesn't it? Drawing – it's still there. Nothing's altered in that way."

The auction will feature the 1962 sketch The Diploma, which Hockney drew in protest when the RCA said it would not let him graduate. He had refused to write the essay required for the final examination, stating that he should be assessed solely on his artworks. Recognising his talent and growing reputation, the RCA changed its regulations and awarded the diploma.

Hockney's current show at London's Royal Academy has received huge public acclaim, with all advance tickets sold out, though some critics have been less enthusiastic. Hockney said he had watched the reaction unfold on Twitter, although he did not tweet himself.

He said: "The show is actually one enormous piece, and people who don't get that pick out bits and little points – not very smart, really. Especially for a landscape show, if people are queueing for it, it tells you something. We're very, very pleased with the response – and I'm not complaining about the press. Of course not. It doesn't matter what they say either." © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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