New gallery in Sydney: A Secondary Eye opens

Secondary Eye

Led by Jesse-Jack De Deyne, a specialist with extensive experience working in the secondary market for Australian Indigenous art and Boris Cornelissen, former Contemporary Art Specialist at Sotheby’s London and Hong Kong, A Secondary Eye was founded in 2020 with a focus on further developing the secondary market for art and collectibles in Australia.

Specialising in First Nations and contemporary Australian art, A Secondary Eye has exhibited and sold works by some of the most important and sought-after artists including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Queenie McKenzie, Paddy Bedford, John Mawurndjul, Bill Whiskey, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Gordon Bennett, Tony Albert, Danie Mellor, Ben Quilty, Sidney Nolan, John Olsen and Fred Williams.

Over the past four years, the gallery has placed a number of highly revered artworks in collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art and HOTA Gallery.

The new gallery is positioned in the heart of Queen Street, a location traditionally associated with secondary market art dealers and once home to Rex Irwin Gallery, Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

A Secondary Eye opens with a solo presentation of one of Australia’s most important and influential artists, Rover Thomas. A revered elder from the Kimberley region, Rover Thomas was the first Indigenous artist to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1990, alongside Trevor Nickolls.

Rover Thomas is viewed as the founding figure for what became known as the East Kimberley school of painting and continues to greatly influence the aesthetic of painting from that region to this day, which focuses heavily on the use of natural earth pigments. His work has gained international recognition through his powerful and unique display of modernist abstraction, portraying ancestral land and Indigenous life.

This is the first solo presentation of Rover Thomas’ work in Sydney in almost 20 years, presenting works created from the 1980s and 1990s, with the majority of which have never been shown to the public before.

Boris Cornelissen said: “After three great years in Brisbane, A Secondary Eye has relocated its premises to Sydney in the heart of Queen Street, Woollahra. Traditionally the domain of Australia’s top auction houses and secondary market art dealers, it is a privilege to open our first Sydney space in this location. Our new Queen Street premises allows us to organise a high calibre exhibition programme alongside private sales.”

Jesse-Jack De Deyne said, “Rover Thomas is undoubtedly a titan of the Australian art world, with few figures looming as large within the canon of Australian art. When the art market for Aboriginal art was forming around the early Sotheby’s sales in the 1990s it was the artworks by Rover, alongside Emily and the early Papunya boards, that were leading the way. We hope that this first solo presentation in Sydney in almost 20 years will bring a reinvigorated interest in Rover as an artist and the incredible figure he is within Australian art.”

The gallery opens to the public on Friday 3 May, and Rover: Master of the Kimberley will run until 14 June 2024.

For further information, please visit A Secondary Eye.