In the morning, during a lunch-break or after dark – here's what art exhibitions and events are happening in Sydney over the next seven days.
Festival Director Moshe Rosenzvieg says this year's edition of the festival – the eighth – is also the largest, featuring more than 600 artists from 10 countries across around 60 exhibitions. The Festival also expands into Paddington this year, with hubs at Paddington Town Hall and the Paddington Reservoir Gardens, and a series of exhibitions on Oxford Street. The major international highlight for the 2017 festival is Bowie Unseen, an exhibition of photographs of the late pop star by celebrity and fashion photographer Markus Klinko. The 24-photo exhibition draws from the photo shoot for Bowie's 2002 album Heathen, and a cover shoot for GQ that same year. Locally, the late Rennie Ellis is getting another showing of his Kings Cross photography, focusing on the summer of 1970-71. As always, the flagship exhibition is the Head On Portrait Prize, alongside exhibitions of the Mobile Prize category, for smartphone photography; and the Student Prize, for primary and secondary school students. The main Head On Photo Festival hub is returning to Lower Town Hall in the CBD this year, so head there for exhibitions and talks.
Andy Warhol’s three-decade career might have left an indelible impression on art – and design – but this exhibition of his pre-Pop output reveals a very different artist and individual from the one most of us know. It focuses instead on the ’50s commercial illustrator whose early ‘fine art’ works betrayed influences including Picasso, Matisse and Jean Cocteau, and mined his sexuality for content. Comprised of more than 300 objects from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, curated by AGNSW’s Nicholas Chambers, Adman: Warhol Before Pop is dedicated to roughly ten years of practice from the time the young Carnegie Tech graduate arrived in New York from Pittsburgh, to the first blush of his Pop art epoch – and the last gasp of his career as a commercial illustrator. Warhol Museum curator Jessica Beck points to the artist’s self-mythologising streak as one of the underlying themes of the exhibition: “As soon as he gets off the bus in New York he’s [crafting his persona]; he’s ambitious, and even though he comes from this quite meagre upbringing in Pittsburgh – the youngest of three boys, a working class family – he knows where he wants to go.” As we enter the exhibition, we see a wall-sized photograph of the young Warhol – pre-fright-wig, sporting short hair, a bow-tie and an ill-fitting suit; further down the wall we see a candid snap with his mother Julia Warhola, who was influential in his life and work. Later in the exhibition, materials from Warhol’s personal archive rev
This collaborative project between the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and Art Month Sydney matches new music with new public art to explore the heritage of the Barangaroo site. BDA commissioned Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and their young resident composer, Alice Chance, to compose six songs in response to the site and to Barangaroo the woman. Art Month Sydney then selected Sydney artists (Tony Albert, Karen Black, Joan Ross, Reko Rennie and Gemma Smith) to match with five songs and create a new artwork to adorn one of the many construction hoardings in the area. The sixth song is a pure soundscape, playing on a loop from 10am-5pm daily (until April 17) in the Cutaway space.
Almost 50 years ago, two young photographers – Rennie Ellis from Melbourne and Wesley Stacey from Sydney – embarked on a six-month project to photograph the bustling Kings Cross scene. Hippies, artists, drag queens, prostitutes and American GIs on leave from Vietnam all passed in front of their cameras – and the results were immortalised in a 1971 book that was launched with an exhibition and party at the famous Yellow House artists' collective in Macleay Street. The book has been out of print for many years, but Ellis’s images are on show once again this month, as part of Head On Photo Festival. Check out our Head On Photo Festival guide.
This exhibition of photographs of the late pop star by celebrity and fashion photographer Markus Klinko is one of the centrepieces of this year's Head On Photo Festival. The 24-photo exhibition draws from the photo shoot for Bowie's 2002 album Heathen, and a cover shoot for GQ that same year. Check out our Head On Photo Festival guide.
Now in its fourth year, Head On Photo Festival's landscape award takes a broad view of the genre that encompasses urban, industrial and sea-scapes. This year's exhibition features 40 finalists selected by a judging panel comprised of Shoair Mavlian (assistant curator of Photography at Tate Modern), Ross Harley (Dean of UNSW Art & Design), photographer Dean Sewell (founder of Oculi) and Head On Photo Festival director Moshe Rosenveig. This year's main prize went to Todd Kennedy for his night-time image of a rock formation at Lake Mungo. Read our Head On Photo Festival guide for a hit list of what and where to find the best of the fest.
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. May's edition is curated by Melbourne artist Julia Gorman, and coincides with the opening of Vivid Sydney. Artbar tends 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.
Imagine if instead of discarding broken objects or putting precious but unusable family heirlooms into storage, you could redesign them – and give them a new life? Canberra's Hotel Hotel teamed up with UNSW Art & Design and ANU School of Art and Design to make this idea a reality, inviting Canberrans to submit items for reimagination by a team of designers and repair experts. Twenty-nine objects were chosen – and their transformations are documented in this exhibition at Australian Design Centre. Broken knitting needles, originally used by a grandmother to teach her granddaughter to knit, are transformed into a bracelet; a hand-me-down kimono from a mother becomes a comfort pillow for her daughter; a faulty Mistral fan from the 1990s, that was the subject of a recall, is transformed into a hand-cranked paper shredder. You can read the incredible stories of each owner, object and re-design here. The designers/repairers for the project are: Andrea Bandoni, Corr Blimey (Louisa de Smet and Steven Wright), Susannah Bourke, Elise Cakebread, Thought Collider (Mike Thompson and Susana Cámara Leret), Daniel Emma (Daniel To, Emma Aiston), Franchesca Cubillo, Dale Hardiman, Benja Harney, Kyoko Hashimoto, Alison Jackson, Elbowrkshp (Elliat Rich and James B. Young), Trent Jansen, Guy Keulemans, Dylan Martorell, Scott Mitchell, Liam Mugavin, Rohan Nicol, Monique Van Nieuwland, Yutaka Ohtaki, Halie Rubenis, Niklavs Rubenis, SMaRT@UNSW, Naomi Taplin, Henry Wilson, and Richard Whiteley.
Every Wednesday evening, the Art Gallery of NSW welcomes you into its hallowed halls and throws the ultimate in absolutely free mid-week social and cultural events. Until 10pm, Art After Hours offers a regular program of live music, lectures and celebrity talks, drawing workshops, film screenings, gallery tours and other events – and, of course, nocturnal access to its latest exhibitions. Through May, Art After Hours is focusing on Australian art legend John Olsen, in conjunction with their exhibition John Olsen: The You Beaut Country. In addition to guided tours of the show, there will be a series of talks taking you inside his world and work. See what else is on offer after hours via Sydney's new Wednesday-night Culture Up Late initiative.
This exhibition, part of Head On Photo Festival, showcases new work by the Bidjara artist, whose performance and photomedia-led practice explores identity. Monash University Museum of Art is holding a major survey of Thompson's work from April, titled Ritual Intimacy, co-curated by his long-term mentor Hetti Perkins.