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.
This exhibition, curated by Palawa woman Jessica Clark, premiered at the 2017 Ballarat International Foto Biennale, and now comes to Sydney via Sydney Festival. Clark says, "Photography is a powerful tool that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are using to reframe history on their own terms, weaving narratives of Indigenous experience." Tell features work by Moorina Bonini, Maree Clarke, Bindi Cole Chocka, Brenda L Croft, Destiny Deacon, Robert Fielding, Deanne Gilson, Jody Haines, Dianne Jones, Ricky Maynard, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Pitcha Makin Fellas, Steven Rhall, Damien Shen, Warwick Thornton, James Tylor and Laura Wills.
In February, Isaac Julien will be recognised for his services to British art with a knighthood; at the same time his 1989 film Looking for Langston will be shown in Sydney. The film was restored in 2017 and offers a new focuses on poet Langston Hughes and his relationship with Harlem, offering a rare perspective on black, queer history within America. It's being shown as part of a wider solo exhibition of his work at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery for the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The exhibition will also include new large-scale and silver gelatin photographic works.
This group exhibition responds to Tracey Moffatt’s 1997 photo series Up in the Sky: 25 prints constituting an ambiguous, cinematic narrative set in an outback Australian town, which has been interpreted as an investigation of the trauma of the stolen generations. To celebrate the 20th anniversary, ten contemporary Australian artists were commissioned to respond to the work: Tim Johnson, Jason Wing, Alana Hunt, Caroline Garcia, Victoria Garcia, Carla Liesch, Nicole Monks, Mark Shorter, Cigdem Aydemir, Hayley Megan French. Up in the Sky will be exhibited in the Lewers House Gallery concurrently with Landing Points.
Curated by Isobel Parker Philip (AGNSW’s assistant curator for photography), Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium features 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. In addition to the exhibition, AGNSW is holding free screenings of films exploring the gritty underbelly of New York City from the late 1960s through to the 1980s.
This survey features photographic and video works by Māori new media artist Lisa Reihana, whose video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] was a hit at the 2017 Venice Biennale. That work, a filmic reinvention of a French scenic wallpaper from 1804 (Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique) will be the centrepiece of this show.
You know it's summer when Carriageworks unveil their major foyer installation – and this year, they're continuing their collaboration with Melbourne's Anna Schwartz Gallery with a new commission from acclaimed German artist Katharina Grosse. Grosse specialises in large-scale and immersive spray-painted works, in which she takes over urban and industrial environments and either paints directly onto their surfaces or drapes reams of fabric as the canvas for technicolour creations. Commissioned to create a site-specific work for Carriageworks, the artist has draped the public space with 8250 square metres of suspended fabric, and then transformed this new canvas with spraypainted colour and visual effects. In a 2016 interview for New York's Museum of Modern Art, she says, "Beauty is a very interesting form of intelligence that contributes to our ability to make sense of life. It’s not necessarily the visually pleasing that is beautiful; that’s why I think colour is so important – because it gets to you right away; it kind of gets into your senses before you know that you’re dealing with it."
Exquisite in beauty and craftsmanship, mysterious in origin, and inspirational to writers, poets and musicians over the ages, the six 15th-century tapestries in the ‘Lady and the Unicorn’ series have been called the “Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages”. They are usually found at the Musée de Cluny - Musée national du Moyen Âge (the National Museum of the Middle Ages) in Paris, where they are a huge drawcard for visitors (and underwent extensive restoration in 2013). Their trip to Sydney will be the third time they have ever travelled, following a trip to New York in 1973-74, and to Japan in 2013. Each of the six tapestries in the series features a slender blond woman with a unicorn on one side and a lion on the other, against intricate backgrounds that feature plants, animals and symbols. Five of the panels represent the senses (taste, sight, scent, touch and hearing), with a sixth, titled ‘My Sole Desire’, thought to represent understanding. Seen together, the works span approximately 20 metres in length. It’s not known who created the tapestries, or whether the lady they depict has a real-life counterpart, but it’s thought that they were commissioned by the Le Viste family (whose coat of arms appears throughout the works) in the late 1400s. Director of the Musée de Cluny, Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, says of the series: “It seduces us by the beauty and balance of its compositions; by the intimate and secret atmosphere that is created, and by the joyful harmony of the flowers s
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
On the surface, the Powerhouse Museum’s latest exhibition looks like a Gen Y reimagining of familiar schoolyard games like hopscotch, Lego blocks or sketch boards. But the digital light projections and responsive artworks, such as a room of giant illuminated musical balls, is actually a colourful canvas to rethink how we live and interact with one another. Japan-based TeamLab are an indefinable group of multi-skilled mathematicians, architects, artists and animators who came together in 2001 (“at the rise of the digital age,” they say) to create a team of specialists and “a laboratory for all kinds of creation”. They’re bringing Learn & Play! TeamLab Future Park to Sydney, which features eight installations that react in real time with the people and movements in the room. “Traditional media, such as paintings, do not change in relation to the presence of viewers or their behavior,” TeamLab tells Time Out via email. “Digital art has the ability to change relationships among people who are present in the same space.” In each exhibition you’re positively engaging with other people in the room, and those who’ve walked through it moments before you. For example, in Light Ball Orchestra, you can roll around neon spheres to create a live symphony; in Sketch Town, visitors can draw new-age transport and buildings that will change the course of the digital landscape on view. And in Graffiti Nature, you can stand in a Fern Gully wonderland of mountains and valleys populated by oth