The best art in Sydney in June
The National happens in the off-years of the Biennale of Sydney, filling that biennale-shaped hole in your heart. The galleries have planned to run the event three times – 2017, 2019 and 2021 – but if all of Sydney turns out to support it they might just extend.
Marcel Duchamp is best known for game-changing works like ‘Bicycle Wheel’ (1913) – a wheel attached to a chair – and ‘Fountain’ (1917) – a store-bought urinal inscribed with the facetious name ‘R Mutt’. The official mid-20th century reproductions of these lost works are at the centre of the largest exhibition of Duchamp’s art to be shown in Australia.
Kenyan-born artist Michael Armitage is only in his mid-thirties but his uniquely beautiful paintings are in huge demand around the world. The MCA is presenting his first exhibition in Australia, which includes recent work and new large-scale paintings telling stories of folklore, history and memories from East Africa.
Shaun Gladwell is best known for his mesmerising slow motion video works depicting him skateboarding or riding BMX bikes against classic Australian backdrops, or more recently, for his virtual and augmented reality works that have been shown at the Cannes and Sydney Film Festivals.
Who said art isn’t political? With the federal election happening this month, Campbelltown Arts Centre is taking a stand, with a new exhibition that aims to encourage open discussion about democracy and its future.
Since Tim Berners-Lee developed the first webpage in 1991, the internet has come to dominate the globe in such a way that it’s now almost impossible to imagine life without it.
On May 30, a very special temporary installation opened in the entrance to the Cutaway, the cathedral-like underground cultural space that is part of the Barangaroo urban renewal project. Commissioned by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, ‘Wellama’ is a new, ten-minute filmed artwork that celebrates the connection of Aboriginal people to the land and portrays some of the rituals that have been practised here for thousands of years.
Cement Fondu is only a little over a year old but the Paddington gallery is already making a significant impact. Its current exhibition features work by artists from Australia and New Zealand with Pacific heritage, pushing the boundaries of the traditional practice of “adornment”.
The National Art School is built on the site of the old Darlinghurst Gaol, a place where people were imprisoned and even hanged for their crimes. So it's somewhat fitting that this exhibition at the NAS Gallery is all about artists who use theft as part of their creative practice, and artists who are deliberately caught in the act.
When Matthew Sleeth premiered A Drone Opera in Melbourne in 2015, audiences were seated inside a cage for their own safety. The performance featured haze, lasers and opera singers, but the cage was to protect the audience from any accidents that might occur involving the show's star performers: a group of high-tech flying drones.
July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and to celebrate, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is launching a month of lunar-themed arty events, including three new exhibitions.
The Archibald Prize is the exhibition that stops a nation – well, a city anyway. Everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong – and the annual exhibition of finalists offers plenty to argue over, featuring faces familiar and not, by big name, mid-career and emerging painters.
White Rabbit Gallery promises their latest exhibition is “not for the faint of heart”. It brings together 23 contemporary artists, all of whom are unafraid of taking risks and refuse to be limited by gender, age or national identity.
What do you get when you combine 52 artists from 31 countries and give them each a week to make a statement about an issue that concerns them, sharing it with audiences online?
There once was a time when Australia's prime ministers took an active interest in the arts, and there was arguably no greater arts champion than Gough Whitlam.