Art Gallery Of NSW Unveils 2021 Program

The new year will also see the gallery celebrate two significant milestones.

By Terry Christodoulou 11/12/2020

With Covid-19 bringing the world brought to a halt, the Art Gallery of New South Wales had to make some very necessary schedule changes, delaying the arrival of its major international exhibition.

However, next year sees cause for celebration with  AGNSW marking its 150th anniversary, and the 100th Archibald Prize. Also, after a long wait, the summer of 2021-22 will see the presentation of Matisse: Life & Spirit, which will be the greatest single exhibition of Matisse masterworks to be seen in Australia in recent memory.

More than 100 works, spanning six decades will be on show in the Sydney-exclusive exhibition offering insights into the depth and range of Henri Matisse’s art. The heady exhibition has been developed in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris and curated by Aurélie Verdier from the Centre Pompidou in collaboration with Justin Paton and Jackie Dunn from the Art Gallery of NSW.

“After such a challenging year, we are looking forward to a brighter 2021 – a year of milestones and a celebration of the Gallery’s past, present and future. We are celebrating our 150th anniversary, marking the 100th year of the Archibald Prize,” says Art Gallery of NSW Director, Dr Michael Brand.

“The gallery is poised for a new era with the completion of the Sydney Modern Project due in late 2022,” he adds.

Elsewhere, 2021 sees a summer of Australian art featuring a landmark exhibition highlighting the country’s most significant impressionist Arthur Streeton; Archie Plus, which expands the ever-popular Archibald Prize; Margel Hinder: Modern in Motion, a major solo show that reveals a dynamic, pioneering and engaging sculptural practices developed in Australian during the mid-20th century; Real Worlds: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2020, presenting the work of eight contemporary artists who create drawings of great complexity and invention; Joy, an exhibition of works by Central Desert artists who celebrate the joy of making and sharing culture and life together; and Pat Larter: Get Arted, the first solo exhibition in a public art museum of the artist’s provocative, witty and joyful body of work.

The National 2021: New Australian Art exhibiting artists Betty Muffler and Maringka Burton Ngangkari ngura (Healing Country) 2020. Courtesy of the artists and Iwantja Arts © the artists

Further, The National 2021: New Australian Art will present current ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art across three of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions – the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Also slated for 2021; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island art is brought into focus with two exhibitions, The Purple House and Longing for Home. The former acknowledges leading Pintupi artists and their connection to the Westerm Desert Dialysis appeal while the latter presents works by six Aboriginal artists from mainland Australia who have documented a melancholic longing for Country.

Asian galleries this year have confirmed In One Drop of Water, which explores the poetic symbolism of water in Asian art alongside food as a symbol of culture in The Way We Eat, which arrives in April.

For a complete Art Gallery of New South Wales 2021 exhibition program head to the link below.



Feature image: Henri Matisse ‘The sorrow of the king (La tristesse du roi)’ 1952 gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas, 292 x 386 cm Centre Pompidou. Musée national d’art moderne AM3279P – Photo © Philippe Migeat – Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist RMN-GP


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