The best art exhibitions in Sydney this month

Cash strapped? Time poor? Take a tour of beauty with one (or more, go on) of these must-see art exhibitions
Nick Cave "Until"
Photograph: James Prinz Nick Cave, Until, MASS MoCA, 2016
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Sydney's summer of art is in full swing this November, with huge shows kicking off all around the city. The Art Gallery of NSW has got a bunch of European stars in Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage, including Picasso, Matisse and Monet, while the Museum of Contemporary Art is showcasing the extraordinary work of South African photographer David Goldblatt. And Carriageworks is about to be taken over by a huge installation by American superstar Nick Cave (not to be confused with the Australian singer). 

Looking to get out of the gallery? See the best public art in Sydney. And if you're after something a touch more dramatic, here's our hit-list of the best theatre in Sydney this month.

1
Modern masters from the Hermitage 2018 AGNSW Matisse
Art, Galleries

Masters of modern art from the Hermitage

icon-location-pin Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
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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, the AGNSW is travelling east and skipping forward a few centuries with 65 paintings from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum.

2
David Goldblatt Museum of Contemporary Art 2018
Image courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg © the artist
Art, Photography

David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), The Rocks
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For this 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.

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3
Nick Cave "Until"
Photograph: James Prinz
Art, Installation

Nick Cave: UNTIL

icon-location-pin Carriageworks, Eveleigh
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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.

4
Caldera 2018
Photograph: Supplied
Art, Installation

Caldera

icon-location-pin Eveleigh Works, Eveleigh
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If you've ever been to the Eveleigh Railway Workshop, you'll know it's a pretty special place, brimming over with history and full of massive, abandoned manufacturing machinery. It's been out of use since 1988, but this event is bringing new life to the 130-year-old blacksmith forge.

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5
Art hanging from roof at White Rabbit Gallery Super Natural Exhi
Art, Galleries

Supernatural: Visions of the Future

icon-location-pin White Rabbit, Chippendale
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The foyer installation at White Rabbit always sets the tone for each exhibition, but the one that greets visitors to Supernatural is a pretty big statement. Hanging high above the gallery are ten life-like nude figures. They have the body of a man, but from the chest up they’re dragonflies, complete with four wings and bulbous eyes.

6
Awavena Carriageworks 2018
Photograph: Greg Downing
Art, Film and video

Awavena

icon-location-pin Carriageworks, Eveleigh
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This virtual-reality film has just wowed audiences at the Venice International Film Festival, and now Carriageworks has scored a coup in screening it in Australia. The creation of artist and director Lynette Wallworth and producer Nicole Newnham, who picked up an Emmy for their last VR film, Collisions, Awavena was made at the invitation of Brazilian Amazonian Yawanawa people and tells the story of Hushahu, the tribe’s first female shaman.

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7
Void UTS Galleries 2018
Hayley Millar-Baker, Meeyn Meerreeng (Country at Night), 2017. Courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery.
Art

Void

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Emily McDaniel, from from the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri nation, is one of the busiest young curators working in Sydney at the moment. For this exhibition at UTS Gallery, she's pulling together works from a diverse range of Aboriginal contemporary artists across drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, video and photography, all looking into “the void”.

8
Warm Bodies Cement Fondu 2018
Adham Faramawy, 'Makeup Tutorial', 2018, video still
Art

Warm Bodies

icon-location-pin Cement Fondu, Darlinghurst
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Halloween comes early to the Cement Fondu gallery in Paddington with this artsy take on our obsession with horror and the post-apocalyptic world. 

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9
William Kentridge AGNSW 2018
Photograph: Christopher Snee, AGNSW
Art

William Kentridge: That Which We Do Not Remember

icon-location-pin Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
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Renowned for his arresting stop-motion video installations, William Kentridge is the best-known contemporary artist working in South Africa today. In this exhibition, curated by the artist himself, visitors can trace the development of his career, from his interest in opera and early cinema to his preoccupation with the nexus between art, ideology, history and memory as a witness to South Africa’s apartheid era.

10
Woven skirt from Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island)
Photograph: Rosemary Gamajun Mamuniny/Copyright Agency, 2018
Things to do, Exhibitions

Unbroken Lines of Resilience: Feathers, Fibre, Shells

icon-location-pin Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour
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In this free exhibition, visitors can see the work of leading female practitioners in their fields of weaving and shell stringing. 

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Step outside the gallery

Jenny Munro
Photograph: Ken Leanfore
Art, Public art

The best public art in Sydney

Public art – in any city – is a notoriously fraught business. No matter how hard you try to make everyone happy, every work will have its detractors. 

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