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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Art Gallery of NSW Has Just Announced Its Blockbuster Exhibitions for Summer 2020

The Archibald is (finally) going ahead — as is a just-revealed retrospective of one of Australia's most celebrated impressionist painters.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 24, 2020
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The Art Gallery of NSW Has Just Announced Its Blockbuster Exhibitions for Summer 2020

The Archibald is (finally) going ahead — as is a just-revealed retrospective of one of Australia's most celebrated impressionist painters.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 24, 2020
  shares

After a tumultuous start to the year, the Art Gallery of NSW is back. At the moment, you can catch a heap of free exhibitions, including the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Some Mysterious Process: 50 Years of Collecting International Art and Shadow Catchers. Now, the major cultural institution is looking to the future, announcing its huge lineup of spring/summer exhibitions — including the much-anticipated Archibald Prize. It would seem Sydney's arts scene is getting back to normal (with restrictions, of course).

The prestigious portrait prize was meant to kick off last month, along with the Wynne and Sulman, which recognise the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture and the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project, respectively. But, due to growing COVID-19 concerns, the exhibitions were postponed by the gallery back in March, with hopes to show later in the year. Yesterday, Tuesday, June 23, AGNSW revealed new dates, which will now run from September 26 right through January 10, 2021. So, you'll have plenty of time to check it out.

Also coming to grace the gallery's walls is a landmark retrospective of celebrated impressionist landscape painter Arthur Streeton, which will run from November 7, 2020–February 14, 2021. A member of the Heidelberg School of Australian impressionism, Streeton produced works that were (and still are) quintessentially Aussie — from sun-drenched pastoral landscapes to the waters of Sydney Harbour. He also received the Wynne Prize in 1928. At the AGNSW, Streeton will feature more than 150 works, some of which have not exhibited for over a century, and will include a selection of works from the artist's time in Egypt, England, Italy and WWI France, too.

"We're extremely excited to delve into the life and work of one of our most influential Australian painters, Arthur Streeton, who defined a unique image of this country," AGNSW Director Michael Brand said in a statement. "Streeton's brilliant evocations of light, land and sea are among the most enduring paintings for many Australians."

Arthur Streeton, 'Cremorne Pastoral', 1895, Art Gallery of New South Wales via Wikimedia Commons

That's not all that you'll be able to catch over the warmer months, either. Kicking off next month is a solo exhibit of major works by Lebanon-born Australian artist Khaled Sabsabi, which will run till sometime next year. Titled A Promise: Khaled Sabsabi, it'll feature the artist's large-scale immersive works and more intimate paintings.

From October, there'll be a collection of drawings by eight contemporary Aussie artists, dubbed Real Worlds: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennale 2020, as well as Joy: an Indigenous art exhibition, featuring objects and short films by artists from across the Central Desert, including Judith Inkamala, Marlene Rubuntja and Sally Mulda. Both exhibitions will be free and kick off on Saturday, October 24, with closing dates yet to be announced. Then, from Saturday November 14, the gallery will house a provocative and humorous retrospective of Australian artist Pat Larter's work over the past 30 years, which challenges conventions of the male gaze and stereotypes of female sexuality.

Unfortunately, the scheduled 2020 Sydney International Art Series exhibitions, Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris and Matisse Alive have been postponed indefinitely. As have exhibitions Brack, Margel Hinder, Classicism and The Purple House.

For more information on the Art Gallery of NSW's current and upcoming exhibitions, head to the website. Ticket information for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2020 will be available here from Saturday, August 1. Ticket information for Streeton is yet to be announced — we'll be sure to keep you updated. 

Top image: Art Gallery of NSW

Published on June 24, 2020 by Cordelia Williamson

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