Sydney's ANZAC Memorial has just relaunched after a million-dollar revamp, and is kicking off its new era with this exhibition of 12 Australian artists, who all recently visited the World War I battlefields of the western front. They've all created new works in response to their experiences on the site and their own personal histories. The artists are: Deidre Bean, Harrie Fisher, Paul Ferman, Michelle Hiscock, Ross Laurie, Steve Lopes, Euan MacLeod, Ian Marr, Idris Murphy, Amanda Penrose Hart, Luke Sciberras and Wendy Sharpe. The exhibition, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ceasefire on the western front, was curated by Brad Manera.
To try to encapsulate Amrita Hepi’s fast-evolving, still relatively young career – which has dance at its core – with a neat label feels reductive. She’s performed as a dancer around the world, created performance art, taught empowering and joyous Beyoncé-inspired dance classes at Goodgod nightclub (RIP), given an insightful TED Talk about the politics of dance, and created a series of dance films for ASOS. She's also staged a unique series of collaborative one-on-one dance classes at Arts Centre Melbourne. But Hepi was still shocked when the hugely influential American conceptual artist Adrian Piper (one of Hepi's art world heroes) agreed to have her work shown alongside Hepi's in this exhibition at Cement Fondu. Both artists use dance to explore politics and identity, and they do so in a series of engrossing video installations. Read our interview with Amrita Hepi.
American artist Nick Cave – not to be confused with the Australian singer-songwriter – is bringing 16,000 wind spinners, 24 chandeliers, 10 miles of crystals, thousands of ceramic birds and one crocodile to Sydney. Cave’s Until is a mammoth new installation work coming to Carriageworks from November 23 2018. It will be open until March 2019, so you’ve got plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny of this extraordinarily detailed, opulent, kitschy world. Cave is best known for his ‘soundsuits’: brightly colourful, full-body costumes covered in noise-making materials made of everything from dyed human hair to plastic buttons. He made his first soundsuit in 1992, as a response to the Rodney King bashing, and in late 2016 brought a herd of horse-shaped soundsuits to Carriageworks for a memorable performance parade. While the soundsuits aren’t the focus of Until (although one has crept in), a visit to the installation is a little like stepping inside the belly of Cave’s creations. Thousands of small found objects have been pulled together to create three major spaces full of surprising colours and textures. At the centre of this all is a huge hanging crystal cloud, topped with a beautiful “private garden”. You can climb one of four ladders for a peek into this secret world, complete with its own crocodile, golden gilded pigs and blackface lawn jockeys. If those jockeys seem like an unusual addition, there’s a strong political slant to all of the work by Cave, who has
The Museum of Contemporary Art has closed the doors on one of its most successful exhibitions ever, Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean. The blockbuster show, featuring large-scale light, video works and installations, was a veritable explosion of colour and became a social media sensation over the summer, with 110,000 people visiting and Instagramming their way through. But for next year's big summer exhibition, the MCA is changing directions drastically and presenting an exhibition of mostly black-and-white photos by South African photographer David Goldblatt. If you're not part of the visual arts or photography worlds, you probably won't have heard of Goldblatt, whose images have traced the changing face of South Africa from the start of apartheid at the end of the 1940s through to 1991, when it was dismantled. But MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor says most hadn't heard of Pipilotti Rist before her exhibition, the MCA's contribution to this summer's Sydney International Art Series, which had previously had exhibitions from heavyweights like Anish Kapoor, Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry. Macgregor describes the Rist exhibition as a big risk that paid off. "We really were a little concerned about it," she says. "It's not a name with a wide resonance outside of the art world – but how wrong were we?" Macgregor is hoping that the MCA will be able to attract a similar audience of people under 35 to engage with Goldblatt's work, but she says it will be a significant challenge gi
The Art Gallery of NSW's Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age attracted 130,000 people last summer, showcasing works from the 17th century held by Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. For this summer (2018-19), the AGNSW is travelling east and skipping forward a few centuries with 65 paintings from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. There are more than 3 million items held in the Hermitage – and most aren't on permanent display – so picking works for a single exhibition is a bit of a tough ask. But this exhibition, called Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage (October 13 to March 3 2019), focuses on works from the late 19th century and the early 20th century, showing the evolution from impressionism to modernism. And we're not getting dusty and forgotten works from the gallery's store spaces: almost all are currently on display at the Hermitage. (AGNSW director Michael Brand says you might want to delay any trip you may have planned to St Petersburg from October through March if you're wanting to see modern art – many of the Hermitage's best works will be in Sydney.) There are eight works by Picasso, including his 'Woman with a Fan', and eight by Matisse. There's also work from Monet, Cézanne, Kandinsky and Gauguin, and one of Russian artist Malevich's highly influential 'Black Square' paintings. The exhibition will have a strong focus on French art from the 1910s, when Russian collectors Sergei Shchukin were Ivan Morozov collecting the most groundbreaking modern art in Paris. The e
Just one day before it was due to premiere in Melbourne in 2018, Sydney duo Soda_Jerk's latest film lost the support of the philanthropic trust that contributed $100,000 to its development. Soda_Jerk (aka Dan and Dominique Angelero) didn't lose the money they used to produce Terror Nullius, but the Ian Potter Cultural Trust no longer wanted to be associated with the promotion or publicity of a film that they deemed too controversial. So what exactly sent the trust running for cover? The film splices together classic pieces of Australian cinema into a political revenge fable that challenges Australian mythology. Expect to see Pauline Hanson alongside the characters of Mad Max while the voice of John Howard rings out across the desert. Characters from Muriel's Wedding meet Josh Thomas in Please Like Me, Russell Crowe in Romper Stomper, and even the Babadook. Terror Nullius is the centrepiece of this exhibition, which features work from 20 living Australian artists working with satire and alternative narratives, and questioning what it is to be Australian. There's also work from Vincent Namitjira, Tony Albert, Abdul Abdullah, Cigdem Aydemir, Karla Dickens, Joan Ross and more.
The MCA's collection hang is where you go to get an overview of Australian contemporary art – and it's less daunting than it sounds. The last time they curated the hang was in 2012 (MCA Collection: Volume One), for the launch of the re-designed building, so there are a whola lotta new eye-candies to wrap your brain around. Although several works in the first room of the exhibition do take 'time' as their theme (including Stuart Ringholt's giant clock) curator Natasha Bullock, who masterminded the new hang, says the theme is more broadly connected to the ways in which the works in the show connected to histories of different kinds. Bullock deliberately messed with the Western linear notion of time in the exhibition's title, and explains that the indigenous concept of time would be better visualised in a circular pattern, in which present, future and past are connected. Artists in Today Tomorrow Yesterday include: Vernon Ah Kee, James Angus, Barbara Cleveland Institute (formerly Brown Council), John Barbour, Gordon Bennett, Daniel Boyd, Pat Brassington, Bob Burruwal, A.D.S Donaldson, Mikala Dwyer, Dale Frank, Marco Fusinato, Matthys Gerber, Kevin Gilbert, Julia Gorman, Fiona Hall, Robert Hunter, Robert MacPherson, Sanné Mestrom, Frank Malkorda, Linda Marrinon, Elizabeth Mipilanggurr, Callum Morton, Barayuwa Munungur, John Nixon, Kerrie Poliness, Stuart Ringholt, Joan Ross, Super Critical Mass, Gareth Sansom, Sally Smart, Ricky Swallow, Kathy Temin, Imants Tillers, Tjanpi D
Whether it be issues surrounding homelessness, domestic violence, sustainable development or nomadic lifestyles, The Ideal Home finds a way to analyse the subject. The exhibition features watercolours, textile artwork, found objects and video installations which all provide commentary on the last century of evolution within Australian families and the concept of home. The Penrith Regional Gallery has partnered with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) to produce this series of visual displays, and will house 70 objects from the MAAS collection along with newly commissioned pieces inside the historic gallery. The Western Sydney structure was originally the homestead of two artists prominent in Australian modernism, Margo and Gerald Lewers. When visiting, you’ll find detailed work by eX De Medici that explores domestic violence using tiles made of bullet casings and a wall of flowers that wilt over the course of the exhibition; Blake Griffiths will consider material possessions and home in the age of excess by weaving a blanket with waste products; and Richard Goodwin’s micro-home built out of found objects will examine homelessness and the global refugee crisis. The Penrith Regional Gallery will host this portion of the exhibition concurrently with MAAS until March 24.
Brett Whiteley was known for a few things: his boldly colourful, world-conquering paintings; his provocative sculptures; and not least, his often tumultuous personal life. But despite the fact that he could sometimes be divisive, the art world is pretty united in its opinion of his drawing skills: he was one of the best. This exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW celebrates the central role of drawing in pretty much everything he did, including in paintings and sculptures. Thanks to his long association with the gallery – which continues through his wife and creative partner Wendy Whiteley – there'll be an absolute treasure trove on display, starting with his earliest sketches and traversing the many decades of his career, taking in landscapes, portraits and nudes.
The National Palace Museum in Taipei has one of the most impressive collections of ancient Chinese art in the world, with more than 700,000 pieces covering thousands of years and multiple dynasties. It's rare for works to travel from the museum, but the Art Gallery of NSW will be showing 87 pieces in this exhibition, dating from the Neolithic period to the 19th century. The exhibition includes paintings, calligraphy, illustrated books, bronzes, ceramics, jade and wood carvings. But there's one artwork that really caught our eye (though not our nose or tastebuds, unfortunately). The imaginatively titled 'Meat-shaped stone' is the most famous and popular artwork at the museum. And yes, it looks a lot like a piece of meat. The stone was carved from jasper and dyed to resemble Dongpo pork belly. There's a bit of contention over exactly when it was crafted, but it's from the Qing Dynasty, narrowing it down to somewhere from 1644 to 1911. It's rarely loaned because of its huge popularity, but in 2014 made its way to a Tokyo exhibition, where it was visited by around 21,000 people each day. That's a pretty big audience for a stone that's not even eight centimetres tall. Check out our hit list of the best art exhibitions in Sydney this month.