Sydney / Lifestyle / 12 Showstopping Art Exhibitions to Catch in Sydney

12 Showstopping Art Exhibitions to Catch in Sydney

Mat Beetson Fin Whale Albany
Mat Beetson, Fin Whale Albany

Slowly but surely, Sydney has become a bona fide art and culture hub. Our galleries and museums are bursting to the brim with world-class artists and exhibitions that delight, excite and enchant. Exhibitions come and go, so be sure to hop on them while they’re here. If you want to be wowed, wander through these mesmerising collections for an instant culture fix.

Charles Davis, Mt Cradle Possum
Charles Davis, Mt Cradle Possum
Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

Marvel at nature in its most magical form, with Australian Geographic’s breathtaking photograph collection. Celebrating the natural beauty and heritage of Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea regions, this captivating exhibition showcases a range of professional, emerging and junior photographers, who have artfully captured rare moments of natural beauty through the most enchanting forms. A spectacular display of ethereal landscapes and wildlife as you’ve never seen them before. 

From now until 20th October

Tickets $15

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

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Posted by The Entertainment Quarter on Monday, September 2, 2019
The Art of Banksy

Having visited Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Toronto and Miami, this long-awaited exhibition has finally arrived on Aussie shores. The Art of Banksy brings together over 80 original works from the elusive street artist. The largest touring collection of his works, expect to get up close and personal with some of his most renowned pieces like “Girl With Red Balloon” and “Flower Thrower”.

From now until 17th November

Tickets from $32

Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

destiny-deacon-two-fishes-out-of-water-2017
Destiny Deacon, two fishes out of water, 2017
Destiny Deacon: Artist Room, MCA

Till the end of the year, the MCA will be showcasing the work of Destiny Deacon - artist, broadcaster, activist and descendant of the KuKu (Far North Queensland) and Erub/Mer (Torres Strait) people. Using humour to challenge racial stereotypes through her photography and video, Destiny's work will leave you laughing, crying and deeply moved.

From now until 1st December

Free entry

Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks

Left Field (for Robert Hunter), Mike Parr, Image Zan Wimberley 2017
Left Field (for Robert Hunter), Mike Parr (Credit: Zan Wimberley, 2017)
Mike Parr: The Eternal Opening

Next month Mike Parr, one of Australia’s most respected artists, will stageThe Eternal Opening, an installation of an exhibition. Let us explain. In a reconstruction of Parr’s minimalist performance, LEFT FIELD [for Robert Hunter] (2017), audiences will enter a life-sized replica of the original space, to experience both the gallery and the original performance. To accompany this unique work, there will be a series of new performances, alongside a video presentation of Parr’s 2016 work BDH [Burning Down The House], where hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the artist’s prints were methodically positioned in the Carriageworks traverser before being doused with petrol and incinerated. 

25th October- 8th December

Free entry

Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh


Ex De Medici, The Seat of Love and Hate, 2017-18, embroidered sofa
Ex De Medici, The Seat of Love and Hate, 2017-18, embroidered sofa
The Ideal Home

The Ideal Home  exhibition brings together more than 45 objects and artworks from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences collection, to showcase the history of the Australian home. Through household objects, furniture and design classics, the exhibition explores Australian experiences of home and family life across the past 120 years whilst simultaneously addressing contemporary social issues of domestic violence and homelessness. 

From now until 2nd February 2020

Tickets $15

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Ben Quilty Self-portrait after Afghanistan 2012, private collection, Sydney; The Last Supper 2017 2017, Art Gallery of New South Wales
(Left to Right) Ben Quilty Self-portrait after Afghanistan 2012, private collection, Sydney; The Last Supper 2017 2017, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Quilty

Quilty is a major survey exhibition of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists Ben Quilty. Showcasing his incredible body of work, his pieces portray honesty, authenticity and highlight how our humanity connects us all. Lucky for us, the exhibition of this Archibald Prize-winning artist will travel the country, from Adelaide to Brisbane, then landing in Sydney.

9th November 2019– 2nd February 2020

Free

Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Rd, The Domain, Sydney 

Guan Wei, Nesting, or the Art of Idlesness, 1989-1999
Guan Wei, Nesting, or the Art of Idlesness, 1989-1999
Guan Wei: MCA Collection

Guan Wei: MCA Collection presents works by the Chinese-Australian artist that have been collected and curated by the gallery. Focussed on Feng Shui (2004),her enormous, multi-panelled masterpiece, and the relationship between humans and the elements, the exhibition will also include her works on paper.

11th October 2019- 9th February 2020

Free

Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks

4. Jeff Koons_photo by Eric Sierins
Kaldor Public Art Project 10: Jeff Koons Puppy, Museum of Contemporary Art forecourt, Sydney, 12 December 1995 – 17 March 1996 Photo: Eric Sierins
Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects

Premiering at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Making Art Public: 50 years of Kaldor Public Art Projects celebrates one of the world’s most ambitious public art initiatives. Created by British artist Michael Landy, this exhibition surveys the rich history of Kaldor Public Art Projects using artworks, archival materials and reconstructions of past projects. From Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped coast (1969) to Jeff Koons’ Puppy (1995), Marina Abramovic’s In residence (2015), Jonathan Jones’ barrangal dyara (skin and bones) (2016) and numerous other projects, it revisits some of the most iconic large-scale artworks to have been presented in Australia.

From now until 16th February 2020

Free entry

Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Rd, The Domain, Sydney 

linda-jackson-jenny-kee-step-into-paradise-exhibition
Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee (Photo credit- High Stewart)
Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson: Step Into Paradise

Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson: Step Into Paradise draws on more than four decades of one of the most influential pairings in Australian fashion, focusing on the influences and the stories behind their creative work. This immersive in-depth survey brings to light the dynamic energy of Linda and Jenny’s partnership. 

More than 150 garments, photographs, textiles and artworks, many not seen by the public before, from the Museum’s own extensive collection are combined with the designers’ personal archives for the exhibition. Highlights include behind-the-scenes photographs, Jenny Kee’s Chanel suit from the late Karl Lagerfeld’s first collection and Linda Jackson’s acclaimed Waratah dress.

17th October 2019- 22nd March 2020

Tickets $15

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday
MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

The MCA is home to the biggest – and most beautiful – collection of Australian contemporary art. While exhibitions come and go, the gallery has a ‘hang’ of carefully curated artworks that stay on display. Before this, the last time the hang got a shake-up was back in 2012 (MCA Collection: Volume One), so there are plenty of fresh works to feast your eyes on. The collection showcases 40 of the country’s best artists from the 1960s to now, but don’t expect to talk a walk through history. The works aren’t in chronological order. Instead, they draw from the Aboriginal concept of time, which is circular and believes that the past, present and future are connected.

From now till 29th March 2020

Free

Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks

barbara-mcgrady-sista-girls-stylin-up-mardi-gras-photo-biennale-of-sydney
Barbara McGrady, Sista Girls Stylin Up, Mardi Gras 2013
Biennale of Sydney

The Biennale of Sydney is a renowned exhibition of international contemporary art, the third-oldest biennial in the world and the largest exhibition of its kind in Australia. Situated across multiple sites in Sydney and beyond, the Biennale of Sydney is first and foremost a collaborative and interactive endeavour. Artist and First Nation-led, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney will showcase exceptional works of art by artists, creatives and collectives from all around the world – South Africa, Australia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and beyond.

Until 8th June 2020

Free entry

Various locations across Sydney

apollo-11-exhibition-things-to-do
Photo credit- NASA
Apollo 11

Named after the space expedition that was the first to successfully land astronauts on the Moon in 1969, upcoming exhibition Apollo 11 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. With more than 200 objects, Apollo 11 explores this historical moment, its influence on the fields of science and design, and the role Australia played in transmitting man’s first steps on the Moon.

From now until 30th June 2020

Free

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Sydney

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