Some Mysterious Process50 Years of Collecting International Art
1 Jun – 13 Sep 2020
Location: Contemporary galleries
50 years of collecting international contemporary art curated by Gallery director Michael Brand
Questions of what and how the Gallery collects underpins this exhibition of highlights from the international contemporary art collection, all acquired over the past 50 years.
The title quotes American artist Philip Guston musing on the act of making art: ‘There’s some mysterious process at work here which I don’t even want to understand.’ Guston’s painting East tenth 1977, features in the exhibition which asks: how does a public art museum collect the products of such mysterious human activity?
Some Mysterious Process weaves together multiple threads of history to tell the story of how the international contemporary collection has come together — through the alchemy of planning and serendipity, curation and philanthropy, and the evolution of societal expectations. In doing so, this exhibition provides a platform for thinking about future collecting as we look ahead to the completion of the Sydney Modern Project with its significant new spaces.
Image: Philip Guston East Tenth 1977 (detail). Art Gallery of New South Wales © Estate of Philip Guston