The Lowensteins Collection of modern & contemporary Australian art to be offered at auction as company prepares for a new era

Monday 13th February
Written by: Mossgreen Auctions
Melbourne – Over 250 works from The Lowenstein Collection of Modern & Contemporary Australian Art are to be offered at auction as the firm prepares for a new era. Featuring paintings, works on paper and sculpture by many of Australia’s greatest artists, the auction, which is valued at $2 million, will take place at Mossgreen in Melbourne on Tuesday 7 March.
Tom and Sylvia Lowenstein occupy a unique position in the Australian art world. As patrons, collectors and close confidantes to many artists they have created a collection that represents the very best of modern and contemporary Australian art.
In the words of art critic Sasha Grishin, the Lowensteins Collection is ‘outstanding’, ‘assembled in a unique manner and characterized by a number of superb works of art.’
Founded by Tom Lowenstein over 40 years ago, Lowensteins Arts Management has built a reputation on advising and managing the accounts of visual artists, writers and musicians.As Tom prepares to hand over the day to day management of the company to his business partners Evan Lowenstein and Adam Micmacher, the decision has been made to sell 255 works from the corporate collection which will enable Lowenstein’s to continue their support of the next generation of Australian artists and importantly, to continue collecting.
Leading the auction is Rabbit Warren, Rydal 1997 (Lot 49, $120,000-150,00) by John Olsen. Painted on his property in New South Wales’ Central Tablelands, Rabbit Warren, Rydal displays all of the characteristics of Olsen’s best works. With its distinctive, playful brushstrokes and earthy, ochre red palette, the raw beauty of the Australian landscape is eloquently captured by one of this country’s most celebrated artists.
Another highlight, the catalogue cover lot, is Charles Blackman’s Women Lovers 1980 (Lot 62, estimate: $45,000-55,000) which was painted at a time of personal happiness and critical acclaim for the artist. Like Olsen, Blackman’s joie de vivre is ever present in his work and this sensuous painting reflects his love of beauty, depicting a scene of youthful innocence as two women embrace in sleep, alongside their companion and voyeur, a black cat.
Garry Shead is another prominent artist represented in the collection and this auction features two of his works; Thirroul Morning 1994 (Lot 28, estimate: $90,000-120,000) from his well-known D.H. Lawrence series and The Measuring Artist 2003-4 (Lot 42, estimate: $35,000-38,000), an homage to his wife and muse, Judith Shead.
Mossgreen CEO, Paul Sumner said, ‘‘The Lowenstein Collection is a remarkable and personal collection, overflowing with stories of the artists’ connections to Tom and Sylvia.” He continued, “The collection is a snap-shot of an artistic era seen through the eyes of one of the most influential and best loved couples in the Australian art scene over recent decades.” And, “We are delighted to work alongside Tom and Sylvia, whose guidance, friendship and support has benefited so many, myself included. This auction will, I am sure, be a fitting tribute to that.”
The auction also includes works by Arthur Boyd, Margaret Olley, Tim Storrier, Rick Amor, Robert Klippel, Ben Quilty and Akio Makigawa as well as John Coburn and Freddie Timms among many others.

Click here to watch a video interview with Tom and Sylvia Lowenstein.

John Olsen (b. 1928), Rabbit Warren – Rydal, 1948, Estimate: $120,000-150,000
Charles Blackman (b.1928), Women Lovers, circa 1980, Estimate: $45,000-55,000
Garry Shead (b. 1942), Thirroul Morning, 1994, Estimate: $90,000-120,000


Sydney: 10-12 February
36-40 Queen Street, Woollahra NSW 2025

Brisbane: 17-19 February
Brisbane City Hall, Kedron RoomAdelaide Street, Brisbane City QLD 4000

Melbourne: 3-7 March
926-930 High Street, Armadale VIC 3143

Tuesday 7 March, 6pm
926-930 High Street, Armadale VIC 3143

To request interviews or images please contact Nicole Kenning on 0424 186 377 or at or Katrina Raymond at MediaLink on 0417 303 158 or at

Founded in 2004, Mossgreen is Australia’s first and only combined auction house and art gallery specialising in the auction of private collections and the representation of a select group of Australian artists.