Smith & Singer

In The News

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.

The Sydney Morning Herald  |  Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios

We've all looked at an old family photo, wondered at our former selves through a dated frame. But what if the image was painted by one of Australia's most celebrated artists, John Brack, whose angular, moody portrayals of mid-20th century Australia delivered penetrating insights into our culture and urban life?

This week Charlotte Brack saw, for the first time, a portrait that her father painted of her in 1958, when she was just four. It was unveiled for her at auction house Smith & Singer where it is about to go to auction (at a published estimate of around half a million dollars).

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

The sums that art buyers are willing to spend online have crept up, reflecting a pragmatic shift that has occurred across the economy during the pandemic.

Only a month ago Saleroom reported that the comfort threshold for online bidding hovered around $50,000, with a couple of notable exceptions five and six years ago. But in the space of two weeks we’ve seen an internet bidder pay $190,000 (hammer) for the 20.246 carat “Wakil Emerald” at Smith & Singer’s online jewels auction, and another collector rise to a $100,000 internet bid for Del Kathryn Barton’s portrait of Hugo Weaving at Deutscher and Hackett’s inaugural solo online auction last week. 

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.

Nine News  |  Mike Dalton

Among the kaleidoscope of businesses that were forced to close when coronavirus seeped into our lives were the nation's auctioneers of fine art and objects. However, as the curve flattened and thanks to online bidding, auction houses are beginning to let the hammer drop again and tonight sees one of the country's biggest gemstones go under the gavel.
Known as The Wakil Emerald, it is 20-plus carats of pear-shaped, step-cut, claw-set and diamond-rimmed stone, named after its original owner, Sydney property developer couple Isaac and Susan Wakil.
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