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Tim Olsen takes the leap into the cut-throat New York art world

Sydney Morning Herald 27 January 2017

Andrew Hornery

Sydney art dealer Tim Olsen is about to open the doors on one of his most ambitious projects yet: his own gallery in the thick of New York's cut-throat contemporary art gallery scene.

Located on Elizabeth Street in Soho's established gallery enclave, Olsen told PS he was confident the move would be a success, with a long list of Australian and international artists set to grace its walls.

"With so many of my artists selling over here online, and with my sister's [designer Louise Olsen] Dinosaur Designs shop going great guns after 10 years in New York, add to that our combined contacts, and I feel confident it would do well," Olsen said from Miami, where he was exhibiting Sydney artist Martine Emdur whose underwater nudes series were selling strongly.

"I have an experienced, great girl living in New York to run the gallery and other international artists who will exhibit with us. It won't be a marsupial, Aussie-artists-only gallery," Olsen said.

"So often when I travel globally I often come back knowing some of my artists are as good if not better than some of the artists I see exhibiting in major galleries in the northern hemisphere.

"It's a low overhead experiment that I'm happy to give a couple years to. I hope some of my artists will attract the respect and prices they deserve, instead of being held back by a small economy."

Olsen, the son of legendary Australian artist John Olsen, said his two existing galleries in Sydney would continue as is, while his list of high-profile artists around the world continues to grow, with the likes of Noah Taylor and Rose Byrne's brother George Byrne being represented by him "As they say over here, 'If you can't buy it in New York, you can't buy it anywhere."

Image: Anthony Johnson

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