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The best art galleries in Sydney

Dude, where's my art? Time Out rounds up the best places in Sydney to see art

Photograph: Pieter Naessens

Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions like the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art, to incredible privately-owned but publically accessible (and free!) galleries like White Rabbit and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, and right down to a thriving scene of independent and artist-run initiatives. Below are some of our favourites.

2 Danks Street

This former warehouse complex boasts several permanent galleries and spaces devoted to temporary shows, including Aboriginal and Pacific ArtUtopia Art Sydney and the Brenda May Gallery, which shows modern, often experimental work in a variety of media.

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Art Gallery of NSW

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.

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Artspace moved in way back in 1992 and quickly established the Gunnery as a hotspot of Sydney’s contemporary art scene. Its annual program includes exhibitions, artist residencies, talks and symposiums, and the publication of artist monographs.

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Brett Whiteley Studio

Miraculously, the studio of Australia's great expressionist has been kept the way it was when he died of a heroin overdose in 1992. Browse Whiteley's books and records and see the unfinished painting he was working on – as well as a changing roster of mini exhibitions.

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Surry Hills

Campbelltown Arts Centre

The centre consists of gallery spaces, a performance studio, workshops, a residency apartment, sculpture garden, Japanese garden and a large outdoor amphitheatre.

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Casula Powerhouse

Stop moaning and drag your sorry arse out Liverpool way. Yes, there is culture in them there outer 'burbs, courtesy of this industrial-scale centre.

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Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Two international design competitions, months of construction and $53 million later, the MCA was was born again in 2012, boasting 50 per cent more floor space, a rooftop café and sculpture terrace, and a high-tech education centre.

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The Rocks

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

This leading commercial gallery in a tiny Paddington backstreet boasts top Australian artists such as Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, TV Moore and Del Kathryn Barton on its books.

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Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation

Established in 2008 under the artistic directorship of Dr Gene Sherman AM, SCAF is a private not-for-profit institution that exhibits innovative contemporary art from Australia, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Exhibitions draw on the collection of Gene and Brian Sherman.

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