From works of art that share indigenous knowledge to fantastical bronze figures of superhuman scale, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has just announced the nine leading Australian and international artists tasked with creating major new works for its transformed art museum campus, which is due to open later this year.
The art gallery’s transformation, known as Sydney’s Modern Project, will be one of the most ambitious cultural landmarks to open in Australia since the Sydney Opera House nearly 50 years ago.
The artists involved work in a wide variety of media and currently complete their site-specific and multi-sensory commissions – many on a scale never before possible at the art gallery – in studios, workshops and foundries across Australia and around the world. world.
New commissions include an exuberant floral sculpture inspired by a plant endemic to southeastern Australia by a Tokyo-based artist Yayoi Kusama, made famous for its use of polka dots and “overflow rooms”, which will be visible day and night, prominently displayed on the terrace of the new building overlooking Woolloomooloo Bay. In the niche above the gallery’s front door, left empty by the cancellation of Dora Olfsen’s original 1913 commission, a new sculpture by artist Wiradjuri Karla Dickens will explore the lingering legacies of colonialism and patriarchy.
Photography: AGNSW | Artist’s impression of AGNSW’s Sydney Modern Project
Other artists just announced and commissioned as part of the Sydney Modern Project are artist Waradgerie (Wiradjuri) Lorraine Connelly-Northeysydney artist Simryn Gillartist Wiradyuri and Kamilaroi jonathan jonesmelbourne artist Richard LegerTaiwanese-American artist Lee Mingweimaori artist Lisa Reihana and artist born in New Zealand and based in London Francois Upritchard.
The project creates a new art museum campus featuring a spectacular new building designed by SANAA, led by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, a revitalized historic building, and a public art garden. It seeks to connect people through a harmonious relationship between high art, architecture and landscape in a stunning location overlooking Sydney Harbour. Exhibited indoors and outdoors within and between the two Art Gallery buildings, major new works will speak to what art has been and is becoming.
The art gallery will announce further commissions and acquisitions in the coming months, ahead of the planned opening of the modern Sydney project later this year, which will nearly double the gallery’s exhibition space and include an elegant new forecourt with reflection pools. In the meantime, the gallery remains open to the public.