AGNSW's Sydney Modern Project Has Arrived with Immersive Installations, Water Views and a Massive Murakami Work
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet called the $344-million gallery New South Wales' "most significant cultural build since the Opera House".
December 01, 2022
Sydney's art world and global cultural clout are about to receive a huge boost, with the Art Gallery of NSW's new Sydney Modern Project finally throwing open its doors on Saturday, December 3. Perched upon a hill next to the original AGNSW, looking down on Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf, the world-class museum boasts a series of stunning and immersive exhibition spaces housed within an expansive open-plan glass building.
On Tuesday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet called the Sydney Modern Project New South Wales' "most significant cultural build since the Opera House".
The ambitious four-level, $344-million project is filled with breathtaking works of art. Wonder through the gallery and you'll discover fully immersive exhibition spaces, vibrant works from world-renowned artists, and huge sculptures welcoming you into the building or looking out onto the harbour.
The first piece of art that's sure to catch your eye is the pair of massive, larger-than-life bronze statues that stand at the front of the museum. Created by artist Francis Upritchard, these tree-like figures are playfully incorporated into the outdoor foyer of the building.
Once inside, there's plenty to discover. As you enter, head into the Yiribana Gallery that's been relocated from the lowest level of the original AGNSW building to the entrance of Sydney Modern. Here you'll find a showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks spanning across mediums and messages. One of the nicest touches of this new Yiribana Gallery is its floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer views of the surrounding ocean and trees, connecting the space with its natural surroundings.
Continue around the gallery and you'll find works from two of Japan's most renowned artists. Yayoi Kusama has created a set of massive spotted flowers that can be observed from a large outdoor space overlooking Woolloomooloo. One level below these multi-coloured structures, you'll find Japan Supernatural: Vertiginous After Staring at the Empty World Too Intensely, I Found Myself Trapped in the Realm of Lurking Ghosts and Monsters, a chaotic 2019 artwork from Takashi Murakami.
Some of the opening exhibitions include Dreamhome: Stories of Art and Shelter, a multi-media exhibition ruminating on the concept of home and shelter; Outlaw, a series of works from rule-breaking artists inside a space purpose-built for evolving time-based art; and Adrián Villar Rojas: The End of Imagination, a fully immersive work that places visitors in the gallery's underground exhibition space called The Tank, shrouded in darkness with each piece of art slowly being revealed by a set of spotlights.
From Saturday, December 3 until Sunday, December 11, the Sydney Modern Project will be open until 10pm each day, giving Sydneysiders more chances to come and explore the new facilities. Accompanying these extended opening hours will be a series of opening celebrations that includes a free concert in The Domain with Ellie Goulding, Meg Mac and Electric Fields, a nightly drone show over Wooloomooloo from Reko Rennie and a series of talks from artists and creatives. All events are free, but if you want to head along to the concert, talks or the gallery on the opening weekend, you'll have to sign up for a ticket.
The Sydney Modern Project is located next to the Art Gallery of NSW. It will open on Saturday, December 3 with extended opening hours of 10am–10pm until Sunday, December 11.
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