Art

Art in Sydney on now

Must-see art in July
Art

Must-see art in July

July is Archibald season – but there's more to this month than famous faces.

Where to see art at night
Art

Where to see art at night

Everyone knows that it’s after hours that Sydney’s art galleries really get down to business.

The best public art in Sydney
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. Some more than others, of course. Notable spats in Sydney’s public art history include the time residents threatened to dismantle Ken Unsworth’s ‘poo on sticks’ sculpture in Darlinghurst (it still stands); the time NSW Parliamentarian Helen Sham-Ho said Lin Li’s ‘Golden Water Mouth’ sculpture in Chinatown “looks like a penis”; and the time Oz editor Richard Neville ran a cover photo of himself and two others peeing into Tom Bass’s P&O Wall Fountain. That said, who could possibly argue for a city without public art? It’s (mostly) good for the eyes, good for the soul, and improves even the most uninviting locations. It’s also good for business, which has been part of the drive in Sydney over the last decade to revitalise laneways and commercial precincts with commissions from contemporary artists, architects and designers. In 2007, the City of Sydney appointed their first Public Art Advisory Panel – a mix of artists, curators and architects that currently includes Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah and installation artist Janet Laurence. Now you know who to thank/complain to.  Since it’s Art Month in Sydney, we thought we’d share some of our favourite public art works in Sydney.

The best art galleries in Sydney
Art

The best art galleries in Sydney

Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions to incredible privately-owned galleries.

Art exhibitions to see in Sydney

Your guide to contemporary, fine and Indigenous art in Sydney

The best places to see art in Sydney
Art

The best places to see art in Sydney

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.

The best ARIs in Sydney
Art

The best ARIs in Sydney

If you're after emerging and experimental art, here are ten key artist-run initiatives (ARIs) to get you started.

Cutting edge commercial galleries
Art

Cutting edge commercial galleries

You don't have to be a buyer to browse these top commercial art galleries in Sydney.

Where to see Aboriginal art
Art

Where to see Aboriginal art

Whether you're visiting from overseas or a curious local looking to get beyond the basics, here's where to start.

Upcoming events and exhibitions

MCA Artbar

MCA Artbar

The Museum of Contemporary Art's monthly party series is curated by a different artist or collective each edition, and features art, performance and design – with killer views, party tunes and hands-on activities with artists. Since Artbar kicked off in May 2012, we’ve seen the MCA's galleries graced with nude performance art, endurance table tennis, house party-style karaoke, vomit montages, huge inflatables and a live goat. Ah, artists. Never change. The parties tend to sell out in advance, so consider pre-purchasing those tickets. Click through the Dates & Times tab for the line-up for each edition of Artbar.

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Kaldor Public Art Project 33
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Kaldor Public Art Project 33

John Kaldor has been helping international artists transform Sydney since Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the coast of Little Bay in 1969. In 2016, he and his team made it possible for Sydney artist Jonathan Jones to take-over part of the Royal Botanic Gardens with his ambitious public art project barrangal dyara. Next up, Kaldor Public Art Projects has set it sights on Sydney’s Observatory Hill, where Berlin based Albanian artist Anri Sala will be taking over the 105-year-old Rotunda with the world premiere of a new public art project inspired by the site and by Sydney’s colonial history. The subject of a major career survey at New York’s New Museum in 2016, Sala is best known for works that engage with social and political histories. For the last 15-or-so years, he’s been increasingly interested in music and sound as psychologically-charged mediums for evoking and reinterpreting the past.   Anri Sala, 2013 Photograph: Marc Domage     From a distance, Kaldor Public Art Project 33 will look like business as usual; as you approach the Rotunda on Observatory Hill, however, you’ll hear the difference: orchestral music, and the sound of 38 snare drums. Suspended from the ceiling of the pavilion, with reflective mirror skins facing down, the snares will tap out an altered version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, in sync with a recorded track. A site visit in 2012 inspired Sala’s project, titled The Last Resort. The artist became fascinated with the history

Pipilotti Rist
Art

Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Rist's four-wall video aquarium 'Mercy Garden Retour Skin' at the MCA was one of our favourite works in the 2014 Biennale of Sydney. The artist will be back in the building come October 2017, for a major survey of her work spanning from the late 1980s to now, curated by the MCA's Natasha Bullock. Among the works show, we're hoping that her 1997 work 'Ever Is Over All' – reportedly an inspiration for Beyoncé's 'Hold Up' clip from Lemonade – makes an appearance. This exhibition is part of the Sydney International Art Series, which within the last two years has brought Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry to the MCA, and the forthcoming Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition. See who's at the AGNSW in summer 2017.

Rembrandt at AGNSW
Art

Rembrandt at AGNSW

This survey of 17th century Dutch masters will feature the work of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Hals, Steen, Dou, Lievens and Leyster.

News and interviews

The 2017 Archibald Prize says goodbye to gender parity, hello to 'old white men in chairs'
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The 2017 Archibald Prize says goodbye to gender parity, hello to 'old white men in chairs'

The finalists for the Archibald Prize – Australia’s longest-running art prize, and one of Sydney’s best-attended annual exhibitions – have been announced. And there’s good news and bad news. Let’s do the bad news first: unfortunately, having said hello to gender parity in 2016, for the first time in its history, the Archibald has said goodbye to it in 2017. Just 14 of the 43 finalists for this year’s Prize are women – a third. (It’s slightly better when it comes to sitters: of the 43 finalists, 20 feature female sitters – including two paintings featuring both a man and a woman.) The good news? If you are partial to portraits of old white men sitting in chairs, then boy howdy is this the exhibition for you. There are eight such paintings in the finalist line-up, a true boon.   Fewer women appear sitting on chairs (just three) – although we’ll never know how many of the 822 entries for the 2017 Archibald Prize fell into this sub-genre. The fact that this year’s Packing Room Prize winner features Lisa Wilkinson reclining on a couch feels like some kind of clue...   Packing Room Prize winner 'Lisa Wilkinson AM' by Peter Smeeth     But are the paintings any good? As always, the people of Australia (read: Sydney) must decide. You can make up your mind via the online gallery of finalist portraits, and/or when the Archibald Prize exhibition opens. You can check out the Archibald Prize exhibition from July 29 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Here’s what else is

These two transportive exhibitions examine nature and the sublime
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These two transportive exhibitions examine nature and the sublime

Welcome to the 25th guest blog post of Time Out Sydney's 52 Weeks of #SydCulture 2017 challenge! June's culture selector is Emily Nicol, a journalist and producer for Koori Radio and NITV, and the guest editor for Time Out Sydney's May 2017 Deadly Sydney issue. Every Wednesday of May, Emily will be telling us what she loved the week before. Think of it as your recommendations for this week, from someone who sees a helluva lot of arts and culture. Over to her. Every time I walk into the Art Gallery of New South Wales I immediately think: I need to come here more often! The green and lush grounds and the building itself are always beautiful to see, but inside you’re guaranteed to be transported somewhere else – within your own psyche, or to another time and place. This week I decided to check out two of the current exhibitions, and experienced a nice respite from a very busy week. In the 20th and 21st century Australian art section, AGNSW have curated a one-room exhibition of works by American-born Tasmania-based photographer David Stephenson, titled Human Landscapes and mostly featuring works from the early ’80s.   David Stephenson ‘Alaska pipeline, Brooks Range, Alaska’ (1981) Photograph: Felicity Jenkins, AGNSW     Stephenson’s approach to landscape photography draws the viewer in, piquing curiosity about the subject and its environment, however stark. It takes a clever hand to unveil the layers and cinematic life that live beneath an otherwise ordinary everyday

Acclaimed international artist Anri Sala is taking over Sydney's Observatory Hill
Blog

Acclaimed international artist Anri Sala is taking over Sydney's Observatory Hill

John Kaldor has been helping international artists transform Sydney since Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the coast of Little Bay in 1969. In 2016, he and his team made it possible for Sydney artist Jonathan Jones to take-over part of the Royal Botanic Gardens with his ambitious public art project barrangal dyara. Next up, Kaldor Public Art Projects has set it sights on Sydney’s Observatory Hill, where Berlin based Albanian artist Anri Sala will be taking over the 105-year-old Rotunda with the world premiere of a new public art project inspired by the site and by Sydney’s colonial history. The subject of a major career survey at New York’s New Museum in 2016, Sala is best known for works that engage with social and political histories. For the last 15-or-so years, he’s been increasingly interested in music and sound as psychologically-charged mediums for evoking and reinterpreting the past.   Anri Sala, 2013 Photograph: Marc Domage     From a distance, Kaldor Public Art Project 33 will look like business as usual; as you approach the Rotunda on Observatory Hill, however, you’ll hear the difference: orchestral music, and the sound of 38 snare drums. Suspended from the ceiling of the pavilion, with reflective mirror skins facing down, the snares will tap out an altered version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, in sync with a recorded track. A site visit in 2012 inspired Sala’s project, titled The Last Resort. The artist became fascinated with the history

There’s an alternative Biennale festival coming to Sydney
Blog

There’s an alternative Biennale festival coming to Sydney

Imagine if the Biennale of Sydney was in one venue, and you got to meet and hang out with the artists as they were making their artworks? Imagine if it was also a two-day festival in which you got to be part of interactive artworks, immerse yourself in installations and performances, and party with some of your favourite local musicians and performers? Enter Underbelly Arts 2017 Lab & Festival: a weekend featuring 21 art installations, performance and interactive works – Underbelly Arts Festival – preceded by a two-week Underbelly Arts Lab in which the artists create their work – and you get to watch them doing it. The sixth edition of Underbelly Arts, curated by incoming festival director (and Underbelly alumnus) Roslyn Helper, features 21 brand-new works that have been commissioned and funded, and will be site-specific. There will be a new performance by musician Marcus Whale (Collarbones) and artist Eugene Choi, featuring a 30-piece choir; there will be an interactive inflatable work created by Amrita Hepi, Honey Long and Prue Stent; there will be a six-hour queer, contemporary remix of traditional Peking Opera, by dancer/choreographer Shian Law; and there will be an interactive ‘Netflix-style’ show, by theatre-maker and filmmaker Laurence Rosier-Staines.   Roslyn Helper performing 'The Human Google Project' at Underbelly Arts Festival 2015 Photograph: Ash Berdebes           It’s this kind of ambitious programming that has established Underbelly – over ten y

Street artist Shepard Fairey unveils his gigantic new mural in Sydney’s CBD
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Street artist Shepard Fairey unveils his gigantic new mural in Sydney’s CBD

The US street artist best known for his OBEY GIANT brand and the Barack Obama HOPE campaign has unveiled his first permanent mural in Australia. It’s the artist’s largest wall piece to date, 44 metres high and 28 metres wide, and it features a green-blue painted woman with flowers in her hair, a waratah and the word ‘obey’. “The idea of consciously obeying versus subconsciously conforming has been something that’s important to me,” says the 47 year old, who brought with him a team of artists from LA to help complete the project. “It’s designed to encourage people to question whether they agree with what they’re confronted with.” Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination NSW, commissioned the artwork as part of Vivid Sydney, which she says is the “largest art mural in Sydney’s history”. It’s more subtle than the artist’s political work, and Fairey says his brief was to stay apolitical and positive, though he didn’t “feel like this [was] a compromise... “I’m now addressing what I think is a full spectrum, from angry and provocative to gentle and more diplomatic. It’s much easier to get approval for public works that are not controversial. Photograph: Destination NSW   “To me, the real crux is democratising my art. Public art is a way for me to reach a lot of people… I always try to find an opportunity to do a larger scale work that maintains that aspect of my philosophy, though I’m now sometimes welcome in more elite circles.” Fairey says he hopes ‘The Peace Waratah’ s

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Little Creatures Live
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Little Creatures Live

You might already enjoy their beer – including Pale Ale, Rogers' and Dog Days – but did you know there's a way to take your Little Creatures love a little deeper? This year the brewery is taking their show on the road with a series of parties that feature live performance art, food and beer at various on-premise locations and festivals across Australia. They're calling it Little Creatures Live – inspired by the original moniker of their very first Pale Ale, brewed their own way with fresh hops flowers and live yeast.  Little Creatures Live will be back in Sydney very soon. Curious as to what to expect? Check out our recaps below. Or if you can't wait, why not pay a visit to Little Creatures' Fremantle or Geelong breweries? 

Vote for the bar making your favourite Patrón XO Café Espresso Martini and win a $200 bar tab
Bars

Vote for the bar making your favourite Patrón XO Café Espresso Martini and win a $200 bar tab

If the mere thought of an Espresso Martini makes your heart beat a little faster, then it’s a great time to live in Sydney right now. For a limited time, a selection of top Sydney bars curated by Patrón are creating special twists on the classic Espresso Martini, using Patrón XO Café. Each of these bars is putting their own expression on the cocktail, and together, they make up the Expresso Society (get it?). They’re shaking up the classic cocktail in all sorts of delicious ways – Rosie Campbell’s ‘Patroco’ blends Patrón XO Café, chocolate liqueur and homemade toasted coconut syrup and coconut cream to create a tropical holiday in a glass. For a nutty kick, try Café del Mar’s ‘Espresso del Mar’, which adds Frangelico, hazelnut syrup and butterscotch to Patrón XO Café and espresso. The creativity doesn’t stop there. Bars like Paddington Inn are adding sweetness by throwing burnt marshmallows into the mix, while the clever bartenders at Pitt Street’s Mexican diner Mejico are staying true to their roots by using Peloton Mezcal and agave in their ‘MeXo Espresso’. The question is: which of these Espresso Martinis do you most want to drink? To win a $200 tab at one of these Sydney bars, tell us which cocktail recipe takes your fancy (the full list is here). Enter by telling us which of these Patrón XO Café Espresso Martinis you'd most like to drink, and why by Monday July 31. Name: Email: I'd like to drink: (25 words or less)  Tick this box to hear more from Patrón XO

Flappy Hour
Things to do

Flappy Hour

Guys, we've found it. The cheapest early bird special in town and it's on for one night only. The Munich Brauhaus and participating Bavarian Bier Cafés around Sydney are trying to serve a record breaking 100,000 wings in an hour of power they're calling flappy hour (geddit). The best part is it's going to be from 5pm-6pm on Fri Jul 28 so all you need to do is duck out of work the tiniest bit early and order a king's ransom in wings for pocket change. Seriously, they're 10c a pop, but the minimum order is 20. That makes it dinner for two dollars. It's bargain city over here.  They're also holding wing eating competitions on the Saturday, but the best value all round is flappy hour so avoid the afternoon snacks and treat yourself to a weekend warm-up that'll cost you less than a coffee.

Win a Sunset Sessions Bridge Climb
Things to do

Win a Sunset Sessions Bridge Climb

What’s better than ascending to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge? Ascending to the top bathed in the golden light of sunset, while a musician plays soft guitar beside you. Time Out and BridgeClimb are giving you the chance to win one of two double passes to Sunset Sessions; a series of Climbs over July and August on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Normally, tickets to this bucket list experience will set you back upwards of $350; but this time, you could be zipping up that grey jumpsuit and heading up for free. They’ll even equip you with everything you need based on the weather, including beanies, gloves and fleeces. So if you’re keen to watch the sun dip over the horizon and see the city turn to pink and red (hello, ultimate date night!) then enter our competition below by Tuesday 18 July. Each double pass is valid for 12 months from the issue date*. However, in order to enjoy a Sunset Sessions Climb, the climb will have to be booked on a weekend in July or August 2017. *Not valid during peak period (25/12/17 to 03/01/18). COMPETITION CLOSED   Terms and conditions in full. By entering this competition you agree to receive relevant communications from Time Out including news, events, offers and competitions.