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Important Australian Art for Private Sale

10 May 2022


Smith & Singer are honoured to offer James Gleeson's Prometheus Encyphered 1986 for private sale.

James Gleeson remains a colossus within the history and development of Australian art, primarily as an artist, but equally for his enormous contribution to our visual culture in his roles as author, art critic, arts administrator and advisor.  

For almost seven decades Gleeson practiced Surrealism and explored the realms and possibilities of the Surrealist creed, that sought to show that there exists, beyond the obvious and everyday, an alternative reality experienced through dreams, hallucinations, and differing mental states.  Rather than focusing on purely private fantasies, the most significant contributions made by Surrealist artists, including Gleeson, are the visionary and profound statements that comment on the human condition.

We are particularly delighted to present James Gleeson’s magnificent and magisterial Prometheus Encyphered for Private Sale.  

Arthur Boyd for Private Sale

28 April 2022


Smith & Singer are delighted to offer Arthur Boyd's Nebuchadnezzar Eating Grass with Lion's Head on Fire (1968) for private sale.

Arthur Boyd’s epic and historical series of paintings on the theme of the banishment and punishment of the proud, cruel, and mercenary Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, were described by Ursula Hoff as ‘mesmerising’ and ‘a tribute to Boyd’s artistic culture, to his awareness of the art that surrounded him both in Australia and in the Old World, and to the heights to which he aspires.’  Although the iconography references the biblical text, Boyd’s compositions diverge to reference the Australian landscape as well as to the then current political anxieties of the Vietnam War and to the psychology of brutal dictators of the twentieth century.  These powerful canvases create an extraordinary impact through their use of agitated brushwork and a diverse, vibrant palette, ranging wildly from intense aggression to more delicate and muted tones.

Nebuchadnezzar Eating Grass with Lion’s Head on Fire remains one of the most dramatic and sumptuous within the comprehensive series and featured on the cover of Boyd’s solo exhibition at Arthur Tooth & Sons in London in 1969 and represents a rare opportunity to acquire a seminal work from one of Australia's most radical voices.  


For more information please contact:

Geoffrey Smith
+61 (0)418 889 656 
[email protected]

Emily Walker 
Administrator, Art 
+61 (0)3 9508 9900 
[email protected]

Gary Singer
Chief Executive Officer & Director
+61 (0)418 337 788 
[email protected] 

David Mackay  
Gallery Manager   
+61 (0)2 9302 2402 
[email protected]

Pictured above 

ARTHUR BOYD 1920-1999 
Nebuchadnezzar Eating Grass
with Lion's Head on Fire
oil on canvas
175 x 183 cm
For private sale 
© Arthur Boyd/Copyright Agency, 2022

Art sales up $30m year on year

21 April 2022

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

The Australian auction market has enjoyed one of its strongest-ever starts to a year. Some $41 million worth of art has been sold so far, compared with $14 million in the year-earlier period. 

Frederick McCubbin painting unveiled for first time in 140 years

25 October 2021

The Age /Sydney Morning Herald | Kerrie O'Brien

A rarely seen painting by one of Australia’s pioneering impressionist artists, Frederick McCubbin, will go under the hammer for the first time in 140 years.

The 1884 painting The Letter is one of McCubbin’s earliest contributions to the late 19th-century art movement known as Australian Impressionism and has been long held by his family, known to exist by only a handful of scholars.

The work features McCubbin’s sister Harriet, an artist who modelled for him as well as his contemporary Tom Roberts, reading a letter, apparently deep in thought.

Measuring 45.5cm x 22.6cm, the piece will be auctioned by Smith & Singer in November with an estimated price range of $300,000-$400,000. But the auction house says there’s a chance it will sell for well above that, given the rarity of McCubbin’s work of this era and the degree of interest it is expected to generate.

Margaret Olley painting sells for almost $100,000 in hot Covid market

27 August 2021

The Australian  |  Stephen Lunn

It didn’t take long for Margaret Olley’s Still Life With Fruit and Flowers to find a buyer.

Art dealers Smith & Singer sent a note to those well-heeled members of its mailing list just after 10am on Thursday offering the painting for private sale. By 11.30am it had found a new home.

The buyer negotiated an undisclosed price understood to be just shy of $100,000, not a record for an Olley, but serious money.

Amour Fou & Art Magazine  |  Anon.

Criss Canning is one of Australia's leading artists and is world-renowned for her still life art. After a long career she hangs in the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Artbank and in many private collections around the world.  She has had over 21 solo exhibitions and in 2007 was the subject of a major retrospective organised by the Art Gallery of Ballarat. 

She lives and works in a country house surrounded by a gorgeous garden which she maintains with her husband David Glenn. She is also a worldwide star on social media with a large number of followers who can admire her artwork and also videos of her garden.

Banksy Does the Business

19 May 2021

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

In Australia and around the world the irreverent British graffiti artist is becoming more sought after and the prices at auction have become as much a talking point as the works themselves.

In his 2005 monograph Wall and Piece the elusive British street artist Banksy wrote ‘Despite what they say graffiti is not the lowest form of art’.  And if the measure of merit is in the price people are prepared to pay for an artist’s work (an enduringly debatable point), then Banksy has proved himself right many times over.

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