Since 2006, Annette Larkin Fine Art has provided specialist services to collectors of contemporary, indigenous and modern art. With unsurpassed expertise in dealing in secondary market contemporary Australian art, Annette Larkin Fine Art provides tailored advice and services in all aspects of purchasing, valuing and collection management.
Director, Annette Larkin, brings more than 27 years of specialist experience in the Australian and international art markets. In her 11 years at Christie's Australia, many as Associate Director and Head of contemporary art, she established stand-alone sales of contemporary art, liasing and traveling to Asia, United States and Europe for the auctions of contemporary and modern, international and asian art. Prior to this, Larkin worked at the major Sydney commercial gallery, Macquarie Galleries; with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Newcastle Region Art Gallery. In 1994 she was selected by the Australian Government as the Australian Curator and Commissioner for the VIII Indian Triennale, New Delhi.
At a national level Annette Larkin is a respected art valuer and was a committee member for the Australian Government Cultural Gift Scheme (2007-2010). In addition, she is a member of the Australian Valuers and Auctioneers Association; a Foundation member of the Art Gallery of New South Wales; a Museum of Contemporary Art Ambassador and on the fundraising committee for the Power Institute, University of Sydney. Between 1996 and 1998 she was the Chairperson for the Contemporary Collection Benefactor Program at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
As a contemporary art dealer, valuer and adviser based in Sydney her services include:
Tailored advice for private and corporate collections:
Specialist services in secondary market contemporary art:
Accredited valuation services:
ANNETTE Larkin has a lot to thank rats for. It was her inability to dissect them and her loathing at having to tie their aortas with string that persuaded the Christie's art specialist of 10 years to drop biology and take up fine arts.
While those early days in the lab at the University of NSW may have been tough, Larkin's career since changing direction has blossomed. Her curriculum vitae is a straight line heading due north: eight years at Sydney's Macquarie Galleries; a year as curator at Newcastle Regional Gallery, then Christie's where, for the past five years, she has been an associate director and headed the only art department in the art auction arena that holds exclusive yearly sales of contemporary art.
No, she wasn't dragged around to galleries as a child; and no, her parents didn't paint. Her dad was a businessman, her mother a mum and the only art on her bedroom walls was a couple of Degas ballerina prints, dwarfed by posters of her favourite band, Sherbet. At school she always wanted to be a biologist; at university she discovered art was also about history, literature and politics; but after her degree she didn't know what she wanted to do. It was the job at Macquarie, she says, which set her on a track...
ANNETTE LARKIN barely has time to blink, let alone talk to a journalist. The occasion is the preview of the latest Christie's contemporary art sale. About $2.1 million worth of art is about to go under the hammer. Larkin, Christie's head of contemporary art, is rooted to the spot schmoozing a throng of seriously cashed-up art collectors.
The sale is fresh territory for Christie's, which made its first foray into contemporary art two years ago. The venue - a barely refurbished warehouse in Sydney's new arts precinct, Danks Street, Waterloo - is a world away from the more traditional auction house territory of Woollahra and South Yarra. A selection of the Christie's sale is hung in what was, and may still be, the car park. Bay markings remain on the concrete floor. Despite the industrial surroundings, the cold weather, and somewhat haphazard hang, however, the preview still sets the Saturday gallery-goers buzzing.
"Have you seen the Tracey Moffatt pictures?" an eastern suburbs matron, an unlikely fan at first blush, calls across the room to her companion. "They're spectacular. I simply must have them." The artist's proof of Moffatt's famous Something More series dates from 1989 and carries an estimate of $150,000-200,000. It's the first time that the whole series has been offered at auction in Australia, but given that one went under the hammer for GBP 69,750 ($193,750) in London earlier this year - an international record for a work by Moffatt - many consider the estimate a little conservative...
ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON in August this year, a group of around 200 people gathered on the fourth floor of Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art. The group was made up of art collectors, journalists and curious onlookers. For the first time an auction devoted entirely to contemporary Australian art was about to take place. Two hours later, the international auction house Christie's had sold more than three-quarters of its 127 lots, bringing in nearly $1.2 million.
Some of Australia's leading artists' work had gone under the hammer and included such well-known names as Rosalie Gascoigne, Howard Arkley, Tim Johnson and Susan Norrie. Not only did Christie's inaugural contemporary sale do incredibly well; the auction was effortlessly cutting edge. The sale's bright orange poster and its catalogue were in themselves bold design statements - a far cry from the solid and worthwhile images that the company uses for their other painting sales. Something had definitely changed. Annette Larkin, Christie's head of contemporary art and its recently appointed associate director, had pulled off a coup.
A month later when we meet, Larkin considers the success of the sale as a significant step forward for the Australian art market. It's also a significant moment for Larkin's career. She's a woman who has built a solid reputation in the arts and is someone who has done it in a low key, self-effacing way. From her days with the now defunct Macquarie Galleries, one of the country's longest-running and most respected commercial exhibitors, to curating the Australian component for the Indian Triennale in 1993, Larkin has made considered and intelligent choices.
Spotting an emerging talent, Christie's offered Larkin a position with the company in 1996 with the express brief to introduce the auction scene to contemporary Australian art. "From the moment I joined the company, Christie's wanted me to develop the contemporary art market," recalls Larkin. "Contemporary art at auction has always been seen as a little scary because sometimes the work of contemporary artists at auction doesn't match their gallery prices. I wanted to do it properly and I wanted to look after everyone from the artist to the buyer."