Smith & Singer

Australian & International Art

Rare Chance to Purchase an Albert Tucker Artwork is not for the Faint-hearted

27 September 2020

The Australian  |  Angelica Snowden

Some say revered Melbourne born artists Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker were rivals, but “they challenged and inspired each other” according to Smith & Singer chairman Geoffrey Smith.

“It was this idea of painting both the landscape and … really forging a new vernacular for the Australian visual arts,” Mr Smith said.  "They are very contemplative paintings and slowly reveal ­themselves. They are not for the faint-hearted. They are quite challenging.”

The auction house – formerly Sotheby’s – will soon present a collection of Tucker’s pieces which in some cases have never before been available for public sale and in others, have not been seen for more than 30 years.

Painting Linked to Brett Whiteley’s Tragic Daughter Arkie Could Fetch $1M

16 September 2020

The Daily Telegraph  | Ezliabeth Fotescue 

A painting that relates to the tragic story of Sydney’s most famous artist and his beautiful daughter will be auctioned next month [at Smith & Singer] and could fetch more than $1 million.

Arkie Whiteley travelled the world with her artist father Brett and her mother Wendy, growing up in New York’s Chelsea Hotel and on the beaches of Fiji.  In 1984, after the family returned to Sydney, Brett Whiteley used the big fig tree outside their home in Lavender Bay as the model for his painting The Arrival — a Glimpse in the Botanical Gardens. Measuring 106cm by 90.6cm, it shows the flight path of a bird before it settles on a branch.

Art Buyers Shake Off Bad News to Drop $5M at Smith & Singer Sale

9 September 2020

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

Smith & Singer’s second major art auction of the year reaped strong results last week, pushing the company to pole position, with a total of $10.75 million in art sales for 2020, or $13.33 million once buyer’s premium is factored in.

Brett Whiteley Work to Make a Bird of Auction Attraction

1 September 2020

The Australian  |  Adeshola Ore

Brett Whiteley’s love of birds, which began with collecting their eggs as a child, fuelled his fascination with the natural world.  The motif of the natural landscape weaves together the collection of more than 50 mostly Australian artworks that Sydney auction house Smith & Singer will place under the hammer on Wednesday.  It’s the first time Whiteley’s 1987 depiction of native Australian corellas will be auctioned.

'I asked, is John going to die? And the consultant said, probably'

16 August 2020

Irish Independent  |  Emily Hourican

Renowned artist John Kelly spent 45 days in hospital when he was struck down by rare condition, and the near-death experience has left him 'seeing the world very differently', he tells Emily Hourican.  Just over two years ago, I interviewed artist and sculptor John Kelly at his home, Reen Farm, in West Cork. At the time, he was busy creating an extraordinary and beautiful memorial, the Think and Thank Garden at Reen, which is where the very first deaths from the Great Famine were recorded in 1846.

Pierre Soulages

25 July 2020

The Spectator  |  Donald McDonald

A French painting purchased in Melbourne in 1953 has been repatriated selling for $5.26m earlier this month in Paris. For 67 years the painting had hung in a private house in Melbourne until it was ‘rediscovered’ by Smith & Singer who returned it to France on behalf of an Australian client, the son of the original purchaser.

How a £3m Soulages Almost Sank off the Coast of Tasmania

14 July 2020

The Art Newspaper  |  Elizabeth Fortescue

When Claude Bonin-Pissarro accompanied an exhibition of 119 Modern French paintings from France to Australia in 1953, he told an Australian newspaper that he was very satisfied with security arrangements surrounding the pictures. No one had tried to steal or destroy the works by Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Léger and others, Bonin-Pissarro said...

Smith and Singer repatriated the painting to France and on Friday 10 July, Christie’s Paris sold it for a hammer price of €3.2m “following fierce bidding from representatives in Hong Kong, London, New York and Paris”.

Brack Daughter Portrait Fetches $900,000

25 June 2020

The Age  |  Nick Miller

An oil painting by one of Australia's most celebrated artists, John Brack, of his laughing, pigtailed four-year-old daughter Charlotte has smashed expectations at auction, costing its new owner nearly $1 million to take home.

Laughing Child, painted in 1958, sold to a telephone bidder on Wednesday for a hammer price of $750,000 ($915,000 after the auction house premium). Pre-auction estimates were around half the amount.

Laughing to the Bank: Brack Daughter Portrait Fetches $900,000

25 June 2020

The Sydney Morning Herald  |  Nick Miller

An oil painting by one of Australia's most celebrated artists, John Brack, of his laughing, pigtailed four-year-old daughter Charlotte has smashed expectations at auction, costing its new owner nearly $1 million to take home.

Laughing Child, painted in 1958, sold to a telephone bidder on Wednesday for a hammer price of $750,000 ($915,000 after the auction house premium). Pre-auction estimates were around half the amount.

John Brack 'Laughing Child' 1958 oil on canvas

17 June 2020

The Spectator  |  Donald McDonald

In a futile attempt at participating in the current cultural revolution, I tried to suffer ‘harm and offence’ from an art catalogue. But it seems I’m no good at this revolutionary business because I only derived pleasure from the catalogue of Important Australian & International Art of works to be auctioned by Smith & Singer (formerly Sotheby’s Australia) on 24 June.

Rarely Seen Brack, Arkley Works Headline Return of In-room Auctions

17 June 2020

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

Next week brings a small but significant milestone to the art market with the return to live in-room auctions.

Smith & Singer are the first in line with their Important Australian and International Art auction in Sydney next Wednesday night. It is not only the highest value sale so far this year, with a total estimate of $5.9 million to $8.3 million, but also an auction that will see two major works by prominent Australian artists offered on the secondary market for the first time.

Staring at Art on the Wall is Bigger Than Ever

10 June 2020

The Australian  |  Ashleigh Wilson

Geoffrey Smith makes it his business to know the minds of collect­ors. And while the pandemic has been a strange time for all, those lucky enough to be surrounded by art have found themselves developing a renewed appreciation for their collection during lockdown.

“They’re spending more time at home, looking at what’s hanging on the wall,” said Smith, chairma­n of fine art auction house Smith & Singer. “Never has there been a time when art has been more important than now.”

As galleries start to open their doors around the nation, auction houses are preparing to welcome buyers back into their showrooms after a long period of absence.

When is an Art Auction not an Art Auction?

27 May 2020

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

When is an art auction not an art auction? It’s worth asking at a time when auction houses are experimenting with new sales models that blur the line between private and public, and that increasingly encroach on the turf of art dealers. Traditionally, auctions have been public events – the auctioneer’s hammer falls and the winning bid is known. But the pandemic has been a catalyst for change, and some auctions are now more akin to secret sales.

A Shared Vision

11 April 2020

Wish Magazine, The Australian  |  David Meagher 

Earlier this year, on a hot and steamy Sydney day, cosseted within the cool, hushed walls of the country’s newest fine art auction house in the well-heeled suburb of Woollahra were 25 exceptional works by the Australian artist Brett Whiteley. The paintings and sculptures had been gathered from various private collectors and many had not been on public display since they were acquired from the artist decades ago. It was one of the greatest assemblages of significant paintings by Whiteley to ever hit the market – prices for these works would be destined to break records for the artist. But there was a catch: there was no planned auction; the works are not actually for sale. That was never the intention of this particular auction house’s Whiteley exhibition. 

The Photography of Carol Jerrems Boasts Australia's Highest-Priced Photo – In Pictures

27 February 2020

The Guardian  |  Staff Writer

Carol Jerrems was a Melbourne-based photographer who died in 1980, at just 30 years old. Last November her work rocked the art world when a print of Vale Street (1975) sold for $122,000 ($1,00,000 hammer price) at a Sotheby’s Australia (now operating as Smith & Singer) auction. In her short and intense career she focused on figurative compositions that were intensely personal and informative of a life lived in Melbourne in the 70s.

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