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.
Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art
This survey of 17th century Dutch masters will feature the work of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Hals, Steen, Dou, Lievens and Leyster.
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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Girl Asleep at Belvoir
Before it was a favourite at Berlin Film Festival and in Australian cinemas, Girl Asleep was a critically acclaimed collaboration between long-time partners in crime Windmill Theatre Company and writer/actor Matthew Whittet (School Dance). This December, Girl Asleep comes to Belvoir, starring Whittet and Amber McMahon as Mr and Mrs Driscoll (aka World's Most Embarrassing Parents) in a show that's an explosion of hormones, imagination run wild, and the kind of 1970s design that would make Wes Anderson squeal with delight. Girl Asleep follows Greta Driscoll on the cusp of her 15th birthday as she grapples with crushes, first kisses and a gang of teen Queen Bees at school. Then there's her parents, who want to throw her a birthday party. Awkward. To celebrate Girl Asleep, Belvoir are transforming their Downstairs Theatre into a 1970s-themed pinball arcade, complete with retro pinball machines, arcade games, beanbags and an original Nintendo console. For $10 you get unlimited plays, with the proceeds going to Belvoir’s Arts Access Program, which gives free theatre tickets to students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Girl Asleep runs December 2-24 at Belvoir St Theatre.
NYE at the Argyle
The Rocks is party central on New Year’s Eve, and what better place to be in among the action than the Argyle? The Argyle plans on kissing goodbye to 2016 with a no-holds-barred, golden-themed event right in the middle of Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve action. Expect an-over-the-top production with the whole venue dripping in gold. Dancers and performers will be roaming through the outdoor courtyard and across the Argyle’s five bars – roller skaters, stilt walkers, golden mermaids, and more. And of course, it wouldn’t be NYE without confetti cannons to add some glitter to the night. An epic line-up of some of Australia’s biggest dance and house DJs is promised over the two levels of the Argyle, with DJs Brooklyn, Tenzin and Andy Murphy welcoming the New Year with golden vibes and epic beats. So get your tickets and get ready to paint the town gold. Early bird tickets are now available for $69 + booking fee. The early bird catches the party worm when it comes to New Year’s Eve in Sydney, so book ahead and get ready to paint the town gold.
Harbour Bar and Kitchen
If you’re after Darling Harbour convenience, Harbour Bar and Kitchen is the spot. You’ll find the restaurant spanning the balcony of Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour with views of Sydney Harbour and the CBD skyline visible from any seat in the house. Taking cues from the pit masters of North America, Harbour Bar and Kitchen takes top quality meats, adds just enough seasoning and smokes them with wood for many hours until the perfect harmony of smoke, flavour and time emerges. Then they're slow cooked over a roaring woodfire oven to produce an authentic flame-grilled meal. The house chateaubriand special for two is 500g slow-roasted tenderloin finished on the woodfired chargrill, carved and served with woodfired crispy potatoes and seasonal steamed vegetables with a choice of red wine jus or grill baste. HBK are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serve everything from smoky, chargrilled meats direct from the oven to strawberry stuffed French toast with ground cinnamon, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. The signature cocktail list includes a refreshing strawberry and basil frozen Margarita alongside classics like the Espresso Martini and an Old Fashioned.
Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas Inner West
Gadigal Green, on the south-of-King-Street side of the University of Sydney, is gearing up to host the new season of Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinemas.The event's sponsors take their responsibility to cinema goers seriously, ponying up free Ben & Jerry's ice cream as well as live music before the screening at the four Sundae Sessions, which are always quick to sell out. The four movies screening in Sundae Sessions this year are comedy Keeping up with the Joneses (Sun Nov 27), Marvel flick Doctor Strange (Sun Dec 4), sci-fi think piece Arrival (Sun Dec 11) and raucous seasonal comedy Bad Santa 2 (Sun Dec 18). Live music is courtesy of Jeff Riley, Lisa Heller, Nick Casey, the Runaway Houses and Naomi Sequeira, and there are DJ sets from DJ Who. Other highlights of the season include Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge and acclaimed modern-day western Hell or High Water.Classics getting a nostalgic screening on 'Time Travel Tuesdays' include Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Rocky Horror and Will Ferrell's funny holiday flick Elf. Ben & Jerry's ice cream, booze and pizza are available for purchase on site and tickets start from $16. Loungers and deck chairs are also available. Doors open Tue-Fri at 6pm and Sat, Sun at 5pm, and movies begin at sunset. Click on the DATES AND TIMES tab for the full movie line-up and Time Out's critics' picks. Be sure to book well ahead to avoid disappointment.