Must-see art in December
The summer blockbusters have landed – and range from 19th century nudes to post-millennial LED installations.
Where to see art at night
Everyone knows that it’s after hours that Sydney’s art galleries really get down to business.
The best art galleries in Sydney
Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions to incredible privately-owned galleries.
The best ARIs in Sydney
If you're after emerging and experimental art, the best place to look is the independent spaces run by artists themselves.
Your guide to contemporary, fine and Indigenous art in Sydney
The best places to see art in Sydney
Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions like the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art, to incredible privately-owned but publically accessible (and free!) galleries like White Rabbit and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, and right down to a thriving scene of independent and artist-run initiatives. Below are some of our favourites.
The best ARIs in Sydney
If you're after emerging and experimental art, here are ten key artist-run initiatives (ARIs) to get you started.
Cutting edge commercial galleries
You don't have to be a buyer to browse these top commercial art galleries in Sydney.
Where to see Aboriginal art
Whether you're visiting from overseas or a curious local looking to get beyond the basics, here's where to start.
Upcoming events and exhibitions
Scent of Sydney
Sydney artist Cat Jones curates an olfactory portrait of our city at Carriageworks, as part of Sydney Festival.
Another Day in Paradise
Archibald Prize-winner Ben Quilty curates an exhibition of portraits by the late Myuran Sukumaran, painted during his time in Bali's Kerobokan prison.
News and interviews
Tatsuo Miyajima: the guide
We've got the who, what and why-to-get-excited about MCA's summer blockbuster.
'Culture Night' is going to transform Wednesday nights
From January 2017, and throughout summer, Sydney's major arts and culture institutions will stay open late on Wednesday nights. This week, Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant announced the new 'Wednesday Night Culture Night' initiative, which is one of the early suggestions coming out of the freshly formed Arts & Culture Advisory Committee. Another suggestion they're hoping to implement is a all-in-one pass to Sydney's key cultural institutions. At this point, institutions taking part in the Wednesday Night Culture Night are the Museum of Contemporary Art (who stay open til 9pm on Thursdays for Lights On Later, but will switch to Wednesday nights for summer), the Art Gallery of NSW (who are already doing Art After Hours on Wednesdays, all year round), the Australian Museum, and the State Library of NSW. But Grant says "This is just the start. We hope more cultural organisations and events get behind Wednesday Night Culture Night." So who and what is this Arts & Culture Advisory Committee? Announced on Sunday October 23, the group currently includes the chairs of the State cultural institutions, as well as "influential figures from across the arts and cultural sector" – including theatre-maker and Sydney Festival artistic director Wesley Enoch, filmmaker and social entrepreneur Genevieve Clay-Smith, John Kaldor (of Kaldor Public Art Projects), ARIA CEO Dan Rosen, and Campbelltown Arts Centre director Michael Dagostino. Announced on Sunday October 23, the gr
Art Gallery of New South Wales 2017 season
By now you know that the Art Gallery of New South Wales are stripping off for summer and welcoming a host of nudes. And they’re staying sexy in 2017, with highlights from their just-announced program including a Mapplethorpe exhibition, a pre-Pop Warhol survey with a strong queer thread (opening in conjunction with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras), an exhibition dedicated to Brett Whiteley’s nudes, a focus on female painters that includes American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and a solo show by Surrealist photomedia artist Pat Brassington, called The Body Electric. Between Mapplethorpe, O’Keeffe and Brassington, expect to never look at flowers the same way again. Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (opening October 2017) will offer a ‘new view’ of an iconoclast and champion of New York’s queer subculture in the 1970s and 1980s. Curated by Isobel Parker Philip (AGNSW’s assistant curator for photography), the show will feature portraits, still lifes and figure studies on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the J. Paul Getty Museum, who jointly acquired a massive trove of artwork and archival material from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2011 – making them the go-to source for his work. In other words: expect this show to be authoritative. Mapplethorpe will be rubbing shoulders with his New York contemporary Andy Warhol, also featured in the AGNSW’s 2017 program. Adman: Warhol Before Pop (opening February 2017) will also seek to give another view
Rembrandt is coming to Sydney in summer
With less than a month til their 2016/2017 summer blockbusters open, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of New South Wales have announced the NEXT summer of shows – and it will be a very European summer. The Museum of Contemporary Art will be presenting a massive, colourful survey of work by Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist – whose massive full-room video aquarium ‘Mercy Garden Retour Skin’ was a highlight of the MCA’s 2014 Biennale of Sydney program. 'Mercy Garden Retour Skin' installation view at MCA, Biennale of Sydney 2014Photograph: Dee Jefferson Described by New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl as “an evangelist for happiness,” Rist makes video works and installations that are colourful, frequently described as “lush”, and often explore the female body and sexuality. For their summer 2017/2018 blockbuster exhibition, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will host masterpieces from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum in a major exhibition titled Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art. It’s the first survey of 17th century Dutch masters in Sydney, and will feature the work of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Hals, Steen, Dou, Lievens and Leyster. Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art and Pipilotti Rist are part of the Sydney International Art Series, which within the last two years has brought Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry to the MCA, and Pop Art and masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland to AGNSW. This summer, SIAS is bringing Tats
The MONA FOMA line-up just dropped, is epic
Hobart's going to give Sydney Festival a run for its money come January, as it's taken over by over 200 artists for the Museum of Old and New Art's annual arts and music festival MONA FOMA aka MOFO. You could argue about what the biggest deal of the line-up is, but let's just agree that Peaches Christ Superstar is going to be hard to beat, since it will involve the transgressive electro rocker performing Andrew Lloyd Webber's shlocktastic Biblical blockbuster – which she has described as "prog-rock extravaganza" – all nine main roles, transposed for piano by frequent collaborator Chilly Gonzales. Peaches Christ SuperstarPhotograph: Holger Talinski Other international biggies include tētēma (the musical project of Faith No More frontman Mike Patton and Australian composer/pianist Anthony Pateras) performing live for the first time as part of the Weekend at Walshy’s festival line-up; German techno and ambient electronica producer Pantha du Prince; and Puscifer – TOOL and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan's hybrid comedy-revue-meets-rock-concert-meets-variety-show. Locals we're excited about include Regurgitator reimagining The Velvet Underground's debut album; Rainbow Chan; and stone cold legend of Australian country and folk music, Kev Carmody. Of course, as with every MONA event, there's plenty of excellent and weird shit from people you've never heard of – for instance, an "avant garde performance opera collective" from Amsterdam performing a n
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Serial’s Julie Snyder
She was the co-creator and producer of the most addictive podcasts of the past decade and her investigative journalism skills unearthed a case that had the world round wondering just 'whodunnit'. And now Serial's creator is coming to Sydney for Bingefest. Julie Snyder – the woman behind the smash hit Serial – will be giving you an inside look into the creation of her true crime podcast. This exclusive Australian conversation will see Snyder sharing recordings peppered with personal anecdotes and memories from creating the series. Aired in 2014, Serial blew up to be one of the biggest podcasts ever, breaking Apple's download records as the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads. The the murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed was pulled apart across 12 detailed episodes and Snyder and co-creator Sarah Koenig scored critical acclaim for reinvigorating long-form nonfiction storytelling. It went onto be so influential that podcasts were created about the show, everyone had an opinion to who the murderer really was, and Adnan Syed's case even went to retrial. Don't miss your chance to hear from the storytelling maestro at this year's inaugural Bingefest.
NYE at Portside Sydney
Another year has sped by and now it's time to farewell it. Do so in style at one of the best vantage points in Sydney for seeing the Harbour Bridge fireworks: down at Portside Sydney Opera House. All night long there will be free flowing Moët & Chandon Impérial, and local Falcona signed DJ Dena Amy will be spinning electronic, pop and classic hits to soundtrack your 2016 send-off. A menu specially curated by Lauren Murdoch will be served throughout the evening, alongside a signature Belvedere Vodka cocktail list. There will also be wines from Cape Mentelle, beers from James Squire and 5 Seeds Cider. The celebrations at Portside Sydney kick off from 7.30pm, meaning you will have one of the best vantage points in all of Sydney for both the 9pm and midnight fireworks.
Experience the magic of Christmas in Martin Place
Bulgari is helping set Christmas aglow with a mesmerising jewelled light installation in the Martin Place precinct. Crafted using thousands of individual LED lights, the festive decorations interpret the Roman jeweller’s most famous shapes. The coiling Serpenti centerpieces evoke precious garlands, while the Divas’ Dream collection becomes stylised Christmas trees. The shimmering display is on every evening from 6pm to midnight up until Wednesday December 28. As well as admiring the light display shoppers and commuters will be able to visit the GPO Dessert Bar, installed in Martin Place next to the Christmas Tree. Visit the dessert bar for gelato, housemade sweets, cakes, coffee, cold beverages and savoury options, with casual seating available as well as views of the interactive Christmas tree. The GPO Dessert Bar is open Monday to Thursday 8am-10pm; Friday 8am-11pm; Saturday 9am-11pm; and Sunday 10am-10pm, up until Friday December 30. Bulgari Christmas Lights and the GPO Dessert Bar are part of sydneychristmas.com.au.
Lights of Christmas
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and you’ll certainly feel it if you visit St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt. Every night until Christmas (7.30pm-midnight) the grand cathedral will be transformed with a beautiful free light and sound show.The Lights of Christmas, presented by PAYCE, will see a Fantasia-style animation projected onto the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral. The colourful, interactive story will be set to a soundtrack of the festive favourite, Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker Suite'. The show kicks off at 7.30pm every evening, with choirs from around Sydney performing carols on the steps.Following The Nutcracker Suite animation, there will be beautiful super-sized projections of great artists' interpretations of the Madonna and Child. There are also projections at Sydney Town Hall and Martin Place, so make an evening of it and head to the heart of the city to celebrate the festive season.