Once the administration offices of the Maritime Services Board, this waterside museum was overhauled head to toe (well, almost) in 2011 and re-opened in March 2012 with light, airy, uncluttered interiors, more floor space and a boxy new facade. It's not just good looks, either: the rooftop café and sculpture terrace, high-tech education centre, and 120-seat lecture theatrette and forecourt are all worth checking out.
And the original sandstone heart is still there. “We wanted to keep the old building but provide something next to it that says immediately that this is a contemporary building,” says MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE.
Inside, the galleries themselves are clean, logical and open – with long vistas to entice and draw you in further. While the design of the exterior is about drawing attention, the opposite is the case for the interior. “The most important thing is the art,” says architect Sam Marshall. “In the perfect gallery there would be no architecture visible. For most of the MCA’s exhibitions they install walls, change colours and put different surfaces in. That requires a really simple space with a really simple circulation system.”
|Venue name:||Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)||Contact:|
140 George St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun 10am-5pm; Wed 10am-9pm|
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John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new
Bark painting is among the most recognisable Aboriginal art, but you mightn’t know that it was only popularised in the 1930s. Until then, the familiar imagery was used as body paint and in caves. Occasionally the patterns were painted onto bark as a record...Galleries Until Sunday September 23 2018 Free
MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday
The MCA's collection hang is where you go to get an overview of Australian contemporary art – and it's less daunting than it sounds. The last time they curated the hang was in 2012 (MCA Collection: Volume One), for the launch of the re-designed building,...Galleries Until Sunday March 29 2020 Free
Plenty of Sydney art lovers would've discovered the work of Sun Xun this year at White Rabbit's latest exhibition, which features a full floor of work by the Chinese artist, called 'The Republic of Jing Bang'. That work featured a hell of a lot of paintings...Galleries Until Sunday October 14 2018 Free
David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018
The Museum of Contemporary Art has closed the doors on one of its most successful exhibitions ever, Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean. The blockbuster show, featuring large-scale light, video works and installations, was a veritable explosion of colour and...Photography Friday October 19 2018 - Sunday March 3 2019