My ART | Gallerist: Jonathan Smart

Gallerist: Jonathan Smart

Gallerist: Jonathan Smart

Are you a gallerist or an art dealer?

I am a gallerist.

Why did you open your gallery?

I wanted to make a contribution to visual culture in Christchurch and in early 1988 I decided that the best way I could do that was to work alongside artists and present their work, supporting them through sales and conversations

If you could own any work of art, what would it be?

Rita Angus’s collaged view of Queenstown basin from the Crown Terrace

Share a memory of working with an artist?

Each time I work with an artist is exciting because you are celebrating the completion and presentation of a new body of work to your community, month in month out. Enabling that is the juice of it.


Identify a common misconception about collecting, and help us set the record straight?

That you have to have lots of money to be a collector of contemporary art. That is much less important than the commitment to looking at shows, and having the curiosity to ask questions about what you see.

What was the last work of art you bought?

A little oil on board by Kirstin Carlin, Nasturtiums.


Why collect?

It’s a way of plugging yourself into the visual pulse of New Zealand and supporting those who are at the forefront of that.

August, 2020

Image: Vicki Piper