Smith & Singer

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A Love Story is Behind this Belle Epoque Masterpiece Headed to Auction

2 November 2020

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.

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.

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