Smith & Singer

In The News

The Australian  |  Imogen Reid

A 1960 painting by one of Australia’s most treasured artists is estimated to sell for up to $650,000 in a coveted auction where some of the nation’s rarest artworks will be placed under the hammer.  Bids for John Olsen’s People Who Live in Victoria Street, a painting of “decorative chaos” featured in Smith & Singer’s Important Australian & International Art exhibition, are expected to start at $450,000.  Spanning more than a century, the pieces will form an event comprising examples of the nation’s most renowned collections. Open for viewings in Sydney on Wednesday, it will be a precursor to the auction in the city’s eastern suburbs on Nov­ember 18.

Le Courrier Australien  |  Yves Hernot

Exposition du 11 au 18 novembre 2020, de 10h à 17h au 30 Queen Street, Woollahra (Sydney), NSW

Vente aux enchères le 18 novembre 2020 à 18h30 au National Council of Jewish Women of Australia, 111 Queen Street, Woollahra (Sydney), NSW.  La vente aux enchères aura lieu à Sydney le 18 novembre 2020 au Conseil national des Femmes Juives d’Australie,  au 111 Queen Street, Woollahra  à 18h30.  Parmi les points forts de cette vente, citons l’extraordinaire A Southern View, Olinda (1933) d’Arthur Streeton, lot 14, estimation 300 000–500 000 $,  voir photo et Lysterfield Landscape de Fred Williams (1968) lot 8, estimation 450 000–650 000 $ .

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

Collectors will be spoilt for choice this month as a succession of headline-grabbing artworks go under the hammer as the auction year winds up [...] Smith & Singer has consigned a few gems of its own [...] Rupert Bunny’s haughtily elegant portrait of his companion and muse, the French artist Jeanne-Heloise Morel, could set a new record for the artist. Estimated at $800,000 to $1.2 million, the sumptuous Portrait of Mlle Morel, from 1895, is the star work in Smith & Singer’s 74-lot final auction of the year.

ARTFIXdaily  |  Anon.

In 1892, Rupert Bunny fell in love with an art student, Jeanne Heloise Morel, forever changing the young artist's life and work. A canvas at auction this month is the first, major full-length portrait by Bunny of Morel, painted tenderly by her fiancé and revealed to the public at the epicentre of art at the time – the Salon, Paris, 1895.  John Longstaff, one of Bunny’s closest friends and fellow Australian artist living and working in Paris recalled: ‘I remember … the very night they met, and how he fell in love with her at first sight.  She was a regular Dresden china girl with a deliciously tip-titled nose.’  Smith & Singer will present this landmark work for sale this November 18. Of remarkable personal significance to the artist and bearing distinguished provenance from some of Australia’s most renowned collectors, Portrait of Mlle Morel (1895) represents one of the most important paintings – by one of Australia’s most celebrated artists – remaining in private ownership.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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