Must-see art in September
From Kaldor Public Art Projects' takeover of Royal Botanic Garden to an outdoor art park in Chippendale and a shocking new show at White Rabbit Gallery, these are the shows you don't wanna miss this month.
Outdoor art in Sydney
Sydney in spring is all about outdoor art – make sure you're taking advantage of the weather with one of these al fresco exhibitions and art parties.
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.
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
Explore the frontiers of art and performance in Performance Space's annual showcase of local, interstate and international artists.
Ross Manning: Melody Lines
Brisbane artist Ross Manning is creating a kinetic installation of refracted light and colour at Carriageworks.
News and interviews
Portrait of local refugee hero wins Archibald Prize People's Choice Award
The Archibald Prize People's Choice Award traditionally goes to a photo-realistic work of a popular public figure (a musician, an actress) – and this year is only slightly different: the subject in question is lawyer and refugee advocate Deng Adut, who won the public's hearts after he featured in an ad for Western Sydney University that went viral. His incredible journey – from child soldier in the Sudan to refugee in Australia to a law practice in Blacktown focusing on legal aid for refugees – makes him a more compelling and worthy subject than most, and five time Archibald Prize finalist Nick Stathopoulos renders him in vivid hyperreal style. Find out more about the Archibald Prize exhibition this year, see who won the Archibald Prize, and see it before it closes on October 8.
The MCA is turning Japanese this summer
You know spring is here when the art galleries start pimping their summer shows, and boy is it here: head to the Art Gallery of NSW where masters of art are stripping down for Nude: Art from the Tate Collection; and head to the Museum of Contemporary Art to escape the heat in the immersive LED installations of Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima. The MCA will also run a 'Cherry Blossom' bar throughout the summer, serving up Japanese snacks and sake cocktails courtesy of QT Hotel's mixologist Jared Thibault. Nude and Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything 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. Miyajima is getting a career retrospective at MCA that will span from the 1980s to now, and encompass his numbers-obsessed and LED-heavy practice as well as his rarer performance, painting and drawing works. According to MCA chief curator Rachel Kent, the highlights of Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything are his large-scale spatial works, in which viewers are immersed in a universe of light and data. In ‘Megadeath’, for example, Miyajima “casts across the 20th century to consider the idea of death on an industrial scale, but also the resumption of life and the idea that people survive, life goes on.” Mega Death, 1999, Installation view at the Japan Pavilion, 48th Venice Biennale.Photograph: Shigeo Anzai
There's a massive artwork in the Botanic Gardens right now
Kaldor Public Art Projects (the series that brought Marina Abramovic to Sydney’s Pier 2/3 in 2015) once wrapped an entire coastline for #art – so Royal Botanic Gardens must seem like a cinch. Lol, JK. Jonathan Jones is the artist behind Kaldor Public Art Project #32 (titled barrangal dyara, or Skin and Bones), which has seen 15,000 white shields laid down within the Royal Botanic Garden, to mark out the perimeter of the Garden Palace, a mammoth building spanning 20,000 square-metres that burned down more than one hundred years ago, destroying priceless Aboriginal artifacts housed inside. Unsurprisingly, the best way to see this in full effect is from above – as this aerial footage, courtesy of Kaldor Public Art Projects, shows: Ask most Sydneysiders about the Garden Palace, and they’ll give you a blank look. The 19th century copy of London’s ‘Crystal Palace’, designed specifically to house the Sydney International Exhibition (the equivalent of Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition) in 1879, doesn’t exist any more – it burned down in 1882. The site where it stood, in the Royal Botanic Garden, was long ago razed – and memory of the building has all but vanished. Jonathan Jones first found out about the Garden Palace around 20 years ago, when a search for information about his family led him to the Australian Museum’s collection. He discovered that the Palace’s store of Indigenous cultural objects (including those of his Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi ancestors) had been destroyed in
The Tate is stripping off and coming Down Under
Come summer, Sydney's Art Gallery of New South Wales will get its own nudist colony: more than 100 masterpieces from the Tate collection, depicting the body in the buff. Nude: Art from the Tate Collection is the latest exhibition in the blockbuster Sydney International Art Series (which runs at AGNSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art each summer). The piece de resistance of the exhibition is Auguste Rodin’s sculpture 'The Kiss' (1901-04), which has never been seen outside Europe. Other master works include Picasso's 'Nude woman in a red armchair' (1932) and Pierre Bonnard’s 'The bath' (1925). Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand said of the exhibition theme, “From idealised representations of the human form through to the confrontational naked bodies of recent art, the nude has expressed a vast range of human aspirations, emotions and ideas. The Art Gallery of NSW encourages debate about art and provides the opportunity for visitors to confront art that is charged and powerful." We're wondering if this Guerilla Girls work makes the cut. Read more about Nude: Art from the Tate Collection and check out August's best art exhibitions in Sydney.
Sydney’s getting a new biennale!
Or rather, a new biennial (the non-European way of saying: an art festival that happens every two years). And before you say “That’s crazy, the current Biennale takes me three months to properly explore”, know this: this new biennial will take place in the off-year of the existing Biennale of Sydney AND it will exclusively feature contemporary Australian art. Kicking off in March 2017, and with three editions planned (so 2017, 2019, 2021) The National: New Australian Art is a collaborative project between the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The biennial will commission new work by Australian artists (including those living overseas), with a strong focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Lisa Havilah, director of Carriageworks, points to “the extensive commissioning of new work that reflects contemporary Australia and our place in the world.” Put this in your diary: The National: New Australian Art 2017 exhibition dates: Art Gallery of New South Wales: Mar 30-Jul 16Carriageworks: Mar 30-Jun 18 Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Mar 30-Jun 18 The curators for the first iteration of the National are: (from AGNSW) Anneke Jaspers (curator contemporary art) and Wayne Tunnicliffe (head curator Australian art); (from Carriageworks) director Lisa Havilah and curator Nina Miall; and (from MCA) Blair French (director, curatorial and digital).
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Sydney's local favourites
Stellar service and optimum convenience is the order of the day at these local favourites. It doesn't matter if you're ducking in for a quick fix solution, or you don't even know what you're looking for, they're going to help out. And when it comes to the cash register, they're savvy enough to let you pay the way you want to, with no worries and no minimums.
Sunday Tex-Mex Brunch at El Camino Cantina
Tex-Mex food has put zing into café menus Australia-wide. Now Tex-Mex experts El Camino Cantina in the Rocks have a brunch special that will perk up your Sunday like a proverbial jumping bean. From 11am to 2pm every Sunday, $29 gets you a breakfast item plus unlimited beverages (Bloody Marys, Margaritas, draught beer and soft drinks) for an hour. Those brekky selections include a Breakfast Burrito packed with scrambled eggs, chorizo, diced potatoes, bacon and cheese with arugula salad; Huevos Sopes, namely poached eggs on fresh corn and chilli fritters with smoked pork and chipotle hollandaise; and Huevos and Chorizo – build-your-own tacos with flour tortillas, chorizo, scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, crema, black beans and guacamole. And if you’re lucky, there might even be a mariachi band playing. El Camino Cantina is a big, bold venue at 18 Argyle Street (right next to the Argyle) that also offers Happy Hours Sunday to Friday (with free chips, salsa, queso and drink specials), Ghost Chilli Mondays (a burger and a beer for $20) and Wing Wednesdays (with a dozen wings for $15). Book your visit at the website.
The Bank held a backyard barbecue party and we bet you're sorry you missed it
Can you think of a better way to send off winter and let the spring come in than with a Latin American barbecue cook out in a freshly re-done beer garden? Neither can we, and neither could the Bank, which is why on the 31st of August, they invited DJ Gonzo to take over the decks, and held a good old fashioned cook off, with barbecue corn, pinto beans, and plenty of charcoal chook to go around. They invited the whole neighbourhood down to celebrate and sample the new menu, and there was much feasting, drinking, and even a spot of dancing. Sorry you missed out? Don't be. That party may have been a good one, but it was just a warm up to what'll be happening at the Bank every day this spring and summer. The Bank in Newtown has been a drawing crowds to the Inner West for decades. With a famous beer garden, live music at Waywards bar where entry is always free, and craft beer bar Uncle Hops, the Bank is a one-stop party shop. Now the Bank has unveilied a new charcoal barbecue in pride of place in the venue’s famous beer garden. It's operated by a new head chef, Zac Smart (SoCal in Neutral Bay), who has devised a fresh menu based around the flavours imparted by barbecue techniques. But don’t expect the American style of barbecue that’s all too familiar to Sydney pub goers. Smart is more interested in the Latin American side of the equation, with flavours like house-made chimichurri and romesco sauce, chancaca and chillies. The menu features dishes such as cauliflower an
Liveworks festival is the main event in Performance Space's annual program, showcasing local, interstate and international artists pushing the frontiers of art and performance. In 2016, artists include dancer/choreographer Kristina Chan, who offers a meditation on impermance in the era of climate change, 'A Faint Existence'. Mish Grigor (of the collective post) will give 'The Talk' – in which she re-enacts awkward conversations about sexuality she had with her family members. Visual artist Ross Manning will transform CarriageWorks' public spaces into a psychedelic landscape with his installation 'Melody Lines'. Meanwhile Indigenous acoustic outfit the Stiff Gins will give a music-based performance about Indigenous artefacts held in museums.Experimental musician and composer Jon Rose will showcase his extraordinary collection of hand-built instruments for 'The Museum Goes Live'. Taiwanese performance artist River Lin will ask visitors to nominate 'unclean' parts of their bodies in a work titled 'Cleansing Service'. And there's more besides: check the website for the complete line-up. For a limited time CarriageWorks is offering an Earlybird discount of 20 per cent off all tickets for Liveworks.