Below you'll find your art planner for the weekend – but if you're looking further ahead, check out our list of art exhibitions to see in Sydney this month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A flagship event of the annual Head On Photo Festival, the Head On Portrait Prize reflects the range and depth of the medium as it is practiced in Australia, with past finalists reading like a who's-who of of our photographic scene. The judges for the 2017 Head On Photo Awards are American photographers Maggie Steber and Simon Harsent, curator and Artbank assistant director Daniel Mudie Cunningham, and Head On Photo Festival director Moshe Rosenzveig. Cesar Dezfuli won the Head On Portrait Prize this year with his photograph of 16-year-old Amadou Sumaila, from Mali, taken after he was rescued on the Mediterranean Sea. Parallel to the main Portrait Prize are exhibitions of the Mobile Prize category, for smartphone photogtraphy; and the Head On Student Prize, for primary and secondary school students. Check out our Head On Photo Festival guide.
A cloud hangs over White Rabbit’s foyer this autumn, a nebulous grey form by New York-based artist Lin Yan. Suspended from the ceiling by black strings (which she conceives of as rain), the piece is made from handmade ‘xuan’ paper – polluted with grey ink, tire tracks, brick rubbings and other vestiges of the industrial world. A smaller cloud form hands above it, almost at ceiling height; at the back of the foyer space hang long strips of pristine creamy-white xuan paper. The work, titled ‘Sky 2’, reflects the artist’s ongoing concern with pollution in Beijing. “Air is life,” she is quoted as saying, in the catalogue note. “When we destroy it, we destroy ourselves.” It’s an appropriate ‘headline act’ for White Rabbit’s show, titled ‘The Dark Matters’ – though in some ways it belies the overall tone of the show, which curator David Williams describes as “Zen”. Williams first had the idea for The Dark Matters during a visit to an artist’s studio in Beijing, in November 2015. “Most of the studios are really higgledy piggledy – but this was the most Zen space I’ve ever been to.” The artist, Shao Fan, designs furniture and paints in black (one of his elegant, minimalist tables has made it into the show, as a pedestal for another artist’s work). “That’s when I thought, let’s just do a really Zen show.” The resulting exhibition, it has to be said, is Zen by White Rabbit standards only (by comparison to preceding shows Vile Bodies, Heavy Artillery and Paradise Bitch, for exampl
This exhibition, jointly conceived with the National Gallery of Victoria, represents the most comprehensive survey of Olsens work to date, spanning seven decades and various mediums – from his best-known paintings to ceramics, tapestries and works on paper. The focal point for the exhibition, and its namesake, is the 'You beaut country' landscape series from the ’60s. Olsen painted these after a stint studying in Europe, during which time he developed his unique vision of the Australian landscape.