The Sydney International Art Series will make a highly anticipated return in 2023, featuring the works of three internationally renowned artists, exclusive to Sydney next summer. The Art Gallery of New South Wales will host the largest survey of pioneering artist Louise Bourgeois ever displayed in Australia, as well as an exhibition comprehensively spanning the oeuvre of Wassily Kandinsky. Meanwhile, the Museum of Contemporary Art will host the largest in-depth presentation of acclaimed artist Tacita Dean’s work seen in the Southern Hemisphere.
Based in Berlin and Los Angeles, Tacita Dean is best known for her film works that draw connections between the past and the present and reflect the materiality and history of filmmaking. The artist’s solo exhibition (opening December 8) at the MCA will bring together important artworks, the majority of them created in the last five years. We will see both new and recent films, monumental drawings and installations that convey Dean’s extraordinarily beautiful investigations into chance, memory, entropy, history and the passing of time. A remarkable sensory experience, the exhibition will feature significant works that have never been exhibited in Australia.
Photograph: Supplied | Tacita Dean, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Images and Captions Tacita Dean, Paradise (still), 2021, © the artist
Over at the AGNSW, Louise Bourgeois: Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? (opening November 25) and Kandinsky (opening November 4), from the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, will feature major works that have never been seen in Australia. This includes Bourgeois’ ‘Crouching spider’ (2003) and ‘Destruction of the father’ (1974), and Kandinsky’s ‘Landscape with rain’ (1913) and ‘Circles on black’ (1921).
AGNSW director Michael Brand said: “With an expansion that has doubled our exhibition space, we can now present major exhibitions in new and innovative ways. Louise Bourgeois: Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? will make history as the first monographic exhibition to be presented in the Art Gallery’s new SANAA-designed building.”
Photograph: Supplied | Wassily Kandinsky 'Improvisation 28 (second version)' 1912
The exhibition at AGNSW also includes a special adjunct – a rare Sydney showing of 19th-century British medium Georgiana Houghton's spirit paintings. Astonishing in their own right, these abstract watercolours, created in the 1860s and ’70s, also contextualise the spiritualist theories that played a significant role in various spheres of 19th-century culture and so deeply informed early modernism.
Minister for tourism and the arts, Ben Franklin, said the three landmark exhibitions were a major coup for Sydney that positioned the Harbour City as a global cultural destination. He said: “Around 28,000 art lovers are estimated to visit Sydney to experience these incredible collections, injecting more than $21 million of visitor expenditure into the NSW economy.”
Looks like we’re in for another bumper summer of art. Bring it on.