Art

Art in Sydney on now

Must-see art in June
Art

Must-see art in June

Catch Sydney's newest festival of art – plus a host of other exhibitions that close or open this month.

Where to see art at night
Art

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 public art in Sydney
Art

The best public art in Sydney

Public art – in any city – is a notoriously fraught business. No matter how hard you try to make everyone happy, every work will have its detractors. Some more than others, of course. Notable spats in Sydney’s public art history include the time residents threatened to dismantle Ken Unsworth’s ‘poo on sticks’ sculpture in Darlinghurst (it still stands); the time NSW Parliamentarian Helen Sham-Ho said Lin Li’s ‘Golden Water Mouth’ sculpture in Chinatown “looks like a penis”; and the time Oz editor Richard Neville ran a cover photo of himself and two others peeing into Tom Bass’s P&O Wall Fountain. That said, who could possibly argue for a city without public art? It’s (mostly) good for the eyes, good for the soul, and improves even the most uninviting locations. It’s also good for business, which has been part of the drive in Sydney over the last decade to revitalise laneways and commercial precincts with commissions from contemporary artists, architects and designers. In 2007, the City of Sydney appointed their first Public Art Advisory Panel – a mix of artists, curators and architects that currently includes Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah and installation artist Janet Laurence. Now you know who to thank/complain to.  Since it’s Art Month in Sydney, we thought we’d share some of our favourite public art works in Sydney.

The best art galleries in Sydney
Art

The best art galleries in Sydney

Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions to incredible privately-owned galleries.

Art exhibitions to see in Sydney

Your guide to contemporary, fine and Indigenous art in Sydney

The best places to see art in Sydney
Art

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
Art

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
Art

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
Art

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

MCA Artbar

MCA Artbar

The Museum of Contemporary Art's monthly party series is curated by a different artist or collective each edition, and features art, performance and design – with killer views, party tunes and hands-on activities with artists. Since Artbar kicked off in May 2012, we’ve seen the MCA's galleries graced with nude performance art, endurance table tennis, house party-style karaoke, vomit montages, huge inflatables and a live goat. Ah, artists. Never change. The parties tend to sell out in advance, so consider pre-purchasing those tickets. Click through the Dates & Times tab for the line-up for each edition of Artbar.

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Kaldor Public Art Project 33
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Kaldor Public Art Project 33

John Kaldor has been helping international artists transform Sydney since Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the coast of Little Bay in 1969. In 2016, he and his team made it possible for Sydney artist Jonathan Jones to take-over part of the Royal Botanic Gardens with his ambitious public art project barrangal dyara. Next up, Kaldor Public Art Projects has set it sights on Sydney’s Observatory Hill, where Berlin based Albanian artist Anri Sala will be taking over the 105-year-old Rotunda with the world premiere of a new public art project inspired by the site and by Sydney’s colonial history. The subject of a major career survey at New York’s New Museum in 2016, Sala is best known for works that engage with social and political histories. For the last 15-or-so years, he’s been increasingly interested in music and sound as psychologically-charged mediums for evoking and reinterpreting the past.   Anri Sala, 2013 Photograph: Marc Domage     From a distance, Kaldor Public Art Project 33 will look like business as usual; as you approach the Rotunda on Observatory Hill, however, you’ll hear the difference: orchestral music, and the sound of 38 snare drums. Suspended from the ceiling of the pavilion, with reflective mirror skins facing down, the snares will tap out an altered version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, in sync with a recorded track. A site visit in 2012 inspired Sala’s project, titled The Last Resort. The artist became fascinated with the history

Pipilotti Rist
Art

Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Rist's four-wall video aquarium 'Mercy Garden Retour Skin' at the MCA was one of our favourite works in the 2014 Biennale of Sydney. The artist will be back in the building come October 2017, for a major survey of her work spanning from the late 1980s to now, curated by the MCA's Natasha Bullock. Among the works show, we're hoping that her 1997 work 'Ever Is Over All' – reportedly an inspiration for Beyoncé's 'Hold Up' clip from Lemonade – makes an appearance. This exhibition is part of the Sydney International Art Series, which within the last two years has brought Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry to the MCA, and the forthcoming Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition. See who's at the AGNSW in summer 2017.

Rembrandt at AGNSW
Art

Rembrandt at AGNSW

This survey of 17th century Dutch masters will feature the work of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Hals, Steen, Dou, Lievens and Leyster.

News and interviews

Acclaimed international artist Anri Sala is taking over Sydney's Observatory Hill
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Acclaimed international artist Anri Sala is taking over Sydney's Observatory Hill

John Kaldor has been helping international artists transform Sydney since Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the coast of Little Bay in 1969. In 2016, he and his team made it possible for Sydney artist Jonathan Jones to take-over part of the Royal Botanic Gardens with his ambitious public art project barrangal dyara. Next up, Kaldor Public Art Projects has set it sights on Sydney’s Observatory Hill, where Berlin based Albanian artist Anri Sala will be taking over the 105-year-old Rotunda with the world premiere of a new public art project inspired by the site and by Sydney’s colonial history. The subject of a major career survey at New York’s New Museum in 2016, Sala is best known for works that engage with social and political histories. For the last 15-or-so years, he’s been increasingly interested in music and sound as psychologically-charged mediums for evoking and reinterpreting the past.   Anri Sala, 2013 Photograph: Marc Domage     From a distance, Kaldor Public Art Project 33 will look like business as usual; as you approach the Rotunda on Observatory Hill, however, you’ll hear the difference: orchestral music, and the sound of 38 snare drums. Suspended from the ceiling of the pavilion, with reflective mirror skins facing down, the snares will tap out an altered version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, in sync with a recorded track. A site visit in 2012 inspired Sala’s project, titled The Last Resort. The artist became fascinated with the history

There’s an alternative Biennale festival coming to Sydney
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There’s an alternative Biennale festival coming to Sydney

Imagine if the Biennale of Sydney was in one venue, and you got to meet and hang out with the artists as they were making their artworks? Imagine if it was also a two-day festival in which you got to be part of interactive artworks, immerse yourself in installations and performances, and party with some of your favourite local musicians and performers? Enter Underbelly Arts 2017 Lab & Festival: a weekend featuring 21 art installations, performance and interactive works – Underbelly Arts Festival – preceded by a two-week Underbelly Arts Lab in which the artists create their work – and you get to watch them doing it. The sixth edition of Underbelly Arts, curated by incoming festival director (and Underbelly alumnus) Roslyn Helper, features 21 brand-new works that have been commissioned and funded, and will be site-specific. There will be a new performance by musician Marcus Whale (Collarbones) and artist Eugene Choi, featuring a 30-piece choir; there will be an interactive inflatable work created by Amrita Hepi, Honey Long and Prue Stent; there will be a six-hour queer, contemporary remix of traditional Peking Opera, by dancer/choreographer Shian Law; and there will be an interactive ‘Netflix-style’ show, by theatre-maker and filmmaker Laurence Rosier-Staines.   Roslyn Helper performing 'The Human Google Project' at Underbelly Arts Festival 2015 Photograph: Ash Berdebes           It’s this kind of ambitious programming that has established Underbelly – over ten y

Eleven things at Dark Mofo that were worth the FOMO
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Eleven things at Dark Mofo that were worth the FOMO

We came, we saw, we MOFOd – and frankly, even we FOMOd. Here is what was worthy of the hype at this year's festival of Dark arts in Hobart. 1. Hermann Nitsch: 150.Action   Hermann Nitsch: 150.Action at Dark Mofo 2017 Photograph: Dark Mofo/Lusy Productions     Dark Mofo’s most controversial show, a bloody ‘action’ by Viennese avant garde artist Hermann Nitsch, had a very tense start. We queued for half an hour, walking past animal rights protesters holding up mirrors urging us to “look at ourselves”. Our identification was checked at four different points. We spent more time waiting. When the action commenced, many struggled to see, causing murmurs of consternation. The work unfolded slowly and methodically. Participants – some naked, some in robes – were tied to crosses and stretchers. Gallons of blood and viscous-looking milk were poured into their mouths. At first this sight made me physically gag. But with repetition comes hardening, and eventually boredom. The banality of gore. Even when they brought out the carcass (which looked no different from the ones being flame-grilled at the Winter Feast, except for its size) and tugged at its entrails, the eye quickly adjusted. Some of the rituals that were repeated in the action – a team in white robes hauling the giant carcass and blood-drenched faux-crucified participants around on a wooden platform – were quite beautiful, like medieval paintings of torture. As more rivulets of blood began to crawl across the fl

Street artist Shepard Fairey unveils his gigantic new mural in Sydney’s CBD
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Street artist Shepard Fairey unveils his gigantic new mural in Sydney’s CBD

The US street artist best known for his OBEY GIANT brand and the Barack Obama HOPE campaign has unveiled his first permanent mural in Australia. It’s the artist’s largest wall piece to date, 44 metres high and 28 metres wide, and it features a green-blue painted woman with flowers in her hair, a waratah and the word ‘obey’. “The idea of consciously obeying versus subconsciously conforming has been something that’s important to me,” says the 47 year old, who brought with him a team of artists from LA to help complete the project. “It’s designed to encourage people to question whether they agree with what they’re confronted with.” Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination NSW, commissioned the artwork as part of Vivid Sydney, which she says is the “largest art mural in Sydney’s history”. It’s more subtle than the artist’s political work, and Fairey says his brief was to stay apolitical and positive, though he didn’t “feel like this [was] a compromise... “I’m now addressing what I think is a full spectrum, from angry and provocative to gentle and more diplomatic. It’s much easier to get approval for public works that are not controversial. Photograph: Destination NSW   “To me, the real crux is democratising my art. Public art is a way for me to reach a lot of people… I always try to find an opportunity to do a larger scale work that maintains that aspect of my philosophy, though I’m now sometimes welcome in more elite circles.” Fairey says he hopes ‘The Peace Waratah’ s

This experiential theatre show turns a gallery visit into an art heist
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This experiential theatre show turns a gallery visit into an art heist

Welcome to the 20th guest blog post of Time Out Sydney's 52 Weeks of #SydCulture 2017 challenge! May's culture selector is Mathieu Ravier: manager of Programming at the Australian Museum, board-member of Sydney Film Festival, and founder of The Festivalists (behind Jurassic Lounge and the Possible Worlds Film Festival, among other things). Every Tuesday of May, Matt will be telling us what he loved the week before. Think of it as your recommendations for this week, from someone who sees a helluva lot of arts and culture. Over to him. When you rock up to the address listed on your ticket, it’s still hard to know what to expect from Art Heist, a new interactive experience from Jetpack Theatre. Inside an empty shopfront in Dulwich Hill, we are greeted by director Jim Fishwick. After signing a waiver, we put our valuables in a safe and are given a quickfire mission brief. Our objective is to steal a valuable painting (‘The Fat Dragon’) from under the noses of two quick-footed security guards and return it to its rightful owner. We know the gallery closes in 10 minutes, after which we have half an hour to complete our mission. We barely have time to process this information before we step through a door and into the gallery. The fictional gallery is a creation of the Jetpack collective, complete with home-made contemporary art and hilarious labels that send up the pretensions of certain artists and galleries. Immediately we spot the prize, an ugly figurative masterpiece protect

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The Perth Hitlist: What to do and where to go on a three or five day stay
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It’s the only capital city in Australia where you can watch the sun set over the ocean, but that’s not the only reason Perth is now one of the coolest places to visit. Once known only for its pristine beaches, Perth’s love of food and culture is capturing the attention of tastemakers. Blame it on Instagram or the perfect weather – no one can explain how WA’s capital city made its way onto the international radar – but the latest frenzy of new hotel openings, a statewide culinary scene that is booming and a string of new urban projects may provide some clues. Stay a little longer and you can explore ancient caves and award winning wineries just three hours ‘down south’.

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Natural swimming holes, laughing kookaburras and canyons that rival the world’s best.

Stockroom Restaurant and Stillery Cocktail Bar
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Stockroom Restaurant and Stillery Cocktail Bar

With more than 100 varieties of rare, vintage and limited-edition gin.

Book online
Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards and exhibition showcase not only the best of the natural world, but the patience, ingenuity and talent of the photographers who spend their time embedded within wildlife so that they can get that incredible, revealing shot. Judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals, this year's 100 finalists were taken by some of the world’s best nature photographers and selected for their creativity, artistry and technical complexity.

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