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Art Gallery of NSW

  • Art
  • Sydney
Art Gallery of New South Wales 2017 exterior daylight August feat Archibald Prize banners (C) AGNSW photographer credit Felicity Jenkins
Photograph: Felicity JenkinsArt Gallery of New South Wales

Time Out Says

Established in 1871, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is the leading museum of art in New South Wales and Sydney, and one of Australia's foremost cultural institutions. It holds significant collections of Australian, European and Asian art, and presents nearly 40 exhibitions annually. The Gallery is open every day from 10am to 5pm (except for Christmas Day) and on Wednesday nights it opens the doors until 9pm. 


Art Gallery Road, The Domain
Opening hours:
Daily 10am-5pm

What's On

Matisse Alive

  • Galleries

As the Art Gallery of New South Wales gears up to show off the largest collection of the joyous works of Henri Matisse to ever wing its way to Sydney – Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, a ticketed exhibition open from November 20 – a free gallery-wide festival of Matisse takes over the building. Open now, Matisse Alive features vital new work, participatory projects, dazzling textiles, a program of music and performance, and vibrant displays of art from the gallery’s collection. Four new artist projects are at the heart of Matisse Alive, which present contemporary perspectives on this ‘modern master’ and focus especially on his imagining of the Pacific. You can see new work from American artist Nina Chanel Abney, who explores race, gender, homophobia and politics in her mural-like collage work. Australian Sally Smart, a proponent of cut-out art, presents a large-scale multimedia installation of collaged fabrics that continues her long-term investigation into female subjectivity. Angela Tiatia, who unpicks neo-colonialism, draws on inspiration garnered on her recent research trip to Tahiti to present The Pearl, an immersive video work that addresses the history of the colonising of the female body in Polynesia. And New Zealander Robin White, whose works created in collaboration with Ebonie Fifita dramatise imagined encounters between Matisse and figures from the world of the Asia-Pacific. There is also be a stunning display of tivaevae – the Polyne

Matisse: Life & Spirit

  • Paintings

After the winter that was, we all need a massive dose of vibrant colour in our lives right now. Well, Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) listened and delivered. Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou presents the largest collection of the revered painter’s joyous work to ever wing its way to Sydney, with thanks to the world-famous Parisian home of contemporary art. You’ll be able to soak up the spirit-lifting sight of more than 100 of his brilliantly inventive creations – not just paintings but also sculptures, drawings, cut-outs and more – from November 20 right through to March 13, 2022. The show takes in the full scope of his six decade-spanning career, with many of the inclusions having never been displayed in Australia. A special presentation focused on his work in Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, in the south of France, is at the heart of the exhibition. It’s considered to be the culmination of his life’s work. Sydney-based architect Richard Johnson has conjured up life-sized maquettes of the chapel windows. AGNSW head curator of international art Justin Paton worked with special exhibitions curator Jackie Dunn and Centre Pompidou’s Dr Aurélie Verdier to bring this glowing exhibition to life. AGNSW director Dr Michael Brand is delighted. “We are proud to offer our visitors an encounter with one of the world’s greatest collections of Matisse’s work here in Sydney on Gadigal country. The exhibition traces the development of the artist’s practice from his earl

The Purple House

  • Paintings

Pintupi artists from the Western Deserts came together in 2000 to drive a hugely successful fundraising campaign, auctioning off beautiful large-scale works to help fund The Purple House, a First Nations-run, community-controlled, non-profit health service. Two decades later, that service has grown exponentially, and Art Gallery of NSW salutes their remarkable achievements. Curated by Time Out Arts Future Shaper Coby Edgar, The Purple House exhibition – on display and free to visit until February 27, 2022 – brings together eight historically significant works by Pintupi artists. Edgar says, “The Purple House is an example of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be successful in developing business models that work for their communities. The Purple House helps people living in remote communities, including some of Australia’s most senior artists, to lead happier and healthier lives, allowing them to record and share their stories for future generations.’ The Purple House director Irene Nangala adds, “I was in Sydney for that auction 21 years ago. We were dreaming for one dialysis machine in Kintore so that our families could come home. It was a great night. We were all so proud and happy. People were very kind. The money raised helped us get our family home to Kintore and then we kept going and going. We are still working hard to help get more people home and keep their spirits strong.” Need more art in your life? Here's our guide to what's opening. 

The Way We Eat

  • Galleries

We love food and we love art here at Time Out, so when those worlds collide, we are all over it. Consider our tummies rumbling at the sound of Art Gallery NSW's (AGNSW) show The Way We Eat: Celebrating food through Asian art reopening. It presents just over 100 artworks, both contemporary and historical, sourced from the gallery’s collection and borrowed from places like White Rabbit. It will wet taste buds right through to sometime next year. Divided into four categories –‘Essential’, ‘Exchange’, ‘Excess’ and ‘Enchanted’ – the works include everything from intricately adorned ceramic bowls to big, bold paintings that are a feast for the eyes. The exhibition considers how food is made, stored and consumed. It also traces the design evolution of culinary items, and how food helps facilitate cultural exchange. You’ll also find out more about the ritual and symbolic meanings of food in Chinese culture. Artists on show include Ah Xian, Tianli Zu, Jason Phu and Guo Jian. Love art? You can find a guide to the best exhibitons here. 

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