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Sydney's biggest festival of Australian art is returning next year

Ben Neutze

Last year three of Sydney's biggest art institutions launched the first iteration of The National, a biennial (meaning it happens once every two years) festival of contemporary Australian art. Almost 300,000 people turned out across the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks to see works from our leading artists, many of which were made specifically for the exhibition. The artworks ran the gamut from paintings, photographs and drawings to large-scale sculptures, video works and installations.

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.

Now we've got more details about the second iteration, including the full line-up of 65 artists drawn from all across the country and all stages of their careers. While each has its own theme, all three institutions are presenting a diverse line-up of artists who are responding to the state of the world as it currently stands but drawing in historical and cultural perspectives.

The curatorial team for 2019 draws together staff members from all the institutions: AGNSW curator of photographs, Isobel Parker Philip; Carriageworks senior curator of visual arts, Daniel Mudie Cunningham; and MCA curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections and exhibitions, Clothilde Bullen with MCA curator, Anna Davis.

The National 2019: New Australian Art runs from March 29 to June 23 at Carriageworks and MCA, and March 29 to July 21 at AGNSW.

Can't wait until then? Check out our hit-list of the best art exhibitions to see in Sydney this month.

The National 2019 artist list

Art Gallery of NSW
Robert Andrew (QLD)
Rushdi Anwar (VIC and Thailand)
Peta Clancy (VIC)
Benita Clements, Noreen Hudson, Kathy Inkamala, Vanessa Inkamala and Mervyn Rubuntja from
Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands art centre exhibiting as a group (NT)
Fayen d’Evie (VIC)
Nicholas Folland (SA)
Tony Garifalakis (VIC)
Mira Gojak (VIC)
Andrew Hazewinkel (VIC)
Amrita Hepi (NSW)
Eliza Hutchison (VIC)
Linda Marrinon (VIC)
Pilar Mata Dupont (WA and the Netherlands)
Sally M Nangala Mulda (NT)
James Newitt (TAS and Portugal)
nova Milne (NSW and USA)
Izabela Pluta (NSW)
Tom Polo (NSW)
Koji Ryui (NSW)
Sandra Selig (QLD)

Tony Albert (NSW)
Troy-Anthony Baylis (SA)
Eric Bridgeman (QLD and Papua New Guinea)
Sam Cranstoun (QLD)
Cherine Fahd (NSW)
Julie Fragar (QLD)
Amala Groom (NSW)
Tara Marynowsky (NSW)
Mish Meijers (TAS) & Tricky Walsh (TAS)
Tom Mùller (WA)
Clare Peake (WA)
Sean Rafferty (NSW)
Eugenia Raskopoulos (NSW)
Luke Roberts (QLD)
Thom Roberts (NSW)
Mark Shorter (VIC)
Nat Thomas (VIC)
Melanie Jame Wolf (VIC and Germany)

Museum of Contemporary Art
Lucas Abela (NSW)
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (WA)
Kylie Banyard (VIC)
Hannah Brontë (QLD)
Janet Fieldhouse (QLD)
Daisy Jupulija, Lisa Uhl, Sonia Kurarra, Nada Tjiliga Rawlins exhibiting as a group (WA)
Eugenia Lim (VIC)
Ross Manning (QLD)
James Nguyen (NSW)
Julia Robinson (SA)
Tina Havelock Stevens (NSW)
Curtis Taylor (WA) and Ishmael Marika (NT) exhibiting as a collaboration
Teo Treloar (NSW)
The Unbound Collective: Ali Gumillya Baker, Simone Ulalka Tur, Faye Rosas Blanch and Natalie Harkin (SA)
Willoh S. Weiland (TAS)
Kaylene Whiskey (SA)
Mumu Mike Williams (NT)

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