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Art Gallery of New South Wales 2019 exhibition program

2019 exhibition program announced

Ming dynasty 1368 – 1644 Portrait of the Hung-chih Emperor hanging scroll silk 386.6 × 188 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei and Qing dynasty 1644 – 1911 Meat-shaped stone stone 6.6 × 7.9 × 6.6 cm National Palace Museum, Taipei.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is delighted to announce its 2019 exhibition program. Bringing some of the most defining moments in art history and world-renowned objects to the Gallery, next year’s offering features partnerships with the National Palace Museum, Taipei; the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Kaldor Public Art Projects. Local talent will also be in the spotlight with unmissable exhibitions of the work of Australian artists including Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Brett Whiteley, Judy Watson and Ben Quilty.

Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Dr Michael Brand said 2019 presents a diverse offering of exhibitions realised through the Gallery’s relationships with artists and institutions, in Australia and abroad.

“In an often divided and intolerant world, the art museum must be a place of dialogue, nuance, complexity, ambiguity, discovery, surprise, curiosity and wonder. It must also be a place of open debate, impassioned opinion, and thoughtful reflection.

“Here, you can experience how people were, and believed, in other times and places. You can also discover, through today’s art, the differences and commonalities that define us now.

“At the Gallery in 2019, audiences can see pioneering works such as Kazimir Malevich’s ground-breaking modernist painting the Black Square (c.1930) on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg; they can see treasures from one of the finest collections of Chinese art in the world, the National Palace Museum in Taipei, and in April we showcase the iconic ‘readymades’ and paintings of Marcel Duchamp from the Philadelphia Museum of Art,” Brand said.

“Next year audiences can also consider the exceptional roll call of artists and projects that the visionary public art initiative, Kaldor Public Art Projects has brought to Australia over the past 50 years. I’m delighted the Gallery is collaborating on Kaldor Public Art Projects: half a century in the public eye,” Brand added.

Opening in February 2019, Heaven and earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei is the first exhibition in Australia from the National Palace Museum. Celebrating the rich heritage of Chinese culture through the fundamental philosophical concept tian ren he yi or ‘harmony between heaven, nature and humans’, the exhibition is exclusive to Sydney and presents over 80 artworks, including paintings, calligraphy, illustrated books, bronzes, jade and wood carvings, and ceramics.

“One of the key objects Heaven and earth in Chinese art will showcase is a masterpiece of banded jasper stone carved into a mouth-watering piece of stewed pork belly resting on a gilt metal stand. Known simply as the Meat-shaped stone it dates from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and is rarely offered on loan as it’s regarded as one of the museum’s top three treasures,” Brand said.

The essential Duchamp opens at the Gallery in April and is the most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the art and life of Marcel Duchamp ever to be seen in the Asia-Pacific region. The exhibition features 125 works and related documentary materials spanning the artist’s six-decade career, drawn from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s definitive collection including Chocolate Grinder(No. 2) (1914), Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) (1912) and Fountain 1950 (replica of 1917 original). The exhibition will be presented at the Tokyo National Museum in Japan and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul in Korea, prior to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

In September 2019, the Gallery will launch Kaldor Public Art Projects: half a century in the public eye, an exhibition that honours one of the world’s most ambitious and celebrated public art initiatives. Kaldor Public Art Projects launched in 1969 with the presentation of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s ground-breaking Wrapped Coast at Sydney’s Little Bay, and has since presented over 30 public art projects across Australia. The first organisation of its type anywhere in the world, Kaldor Public Art Projects has helped redefine the possibilities for public art in the 21st Century and has had a profound influence on the way that Australians have experienced contemporary art.

Created by British artist, Michael Landy, the exhibition at the Gallery will survey the rich history of Kaldor Public Art Projects using artworks, archival materials and reconstructions of past projects. From Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped Coast (1969), to Jeff Koons’ flower Puppy (1995), Marina Abramovic’s In Residence (2015), Jonathan Jones’ barrangal dyara (skin and bones) 2016 and numerous other projects, the exhibition revisits some of the most iconic large-scale artworks to have been presented in Australia.

Collaboration is centre stage in the 2019 exhibition program line up as the Gallery partners with Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia to present the work of contemporary Australian artists in The National 2019: new Australian art. Exploring the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art The National 2019 at the Gallery showcases new and commissioned work by 24 contemporary Australian artists, 60% of whom are women.

In November 2019 the Gallery will also host the first major survey of artist Ben Quilty, Quilty. Developed by the Art Gallery of South Australia and reaching from Quilty’s early explorations of masculine identity through his responses to war in Afghanistan and the Syrian refugee crisis to his recent political grotesques, this exhibition of one of Australia’s most engaged painters will also travel to Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.

This summer until 31 March 2019 the Gallery will present Brett Whiteley: drawing is everything, the first major museum exhibition to focus on the central place of drawing in Whiteley’s work. The rarely seen works in this exhibition range from early images of Sydney and Europe to the great abstracts that brought Whiteley international fame in the 1960s, as well as the lyrical landscapes, portraits, interiors and nudes that established him as one of the most prominent and well-loved Australian artists of the 20th century.

Other important exhibitions of Australian artists include Noŋgirrŋa Marawili: from my heart and mind a survey of Marawili’s dynamic and unorthodox artistic vision, and a celebration of the legacy of curator and artist Tony Tuckson in Tuckson: the abstract sublime and the complementary Melanesian art: redux. The Gallery will present original research on Marawili and Tuckson, with dedicated publications in association with each exhibition.

For the full Art Gallery of New South Wales 2019 exhibition program please see below.


Masters of modern art from the Hermitage | 13 October 2018 – 3 March 2019 | TICKETED
Noŋgirrŋa Marawili: from my heart and mind | 3 November 2018 – 24 February 2019
Judy Watson: the edge of memory | 10 November 2018 – 17 March 2019
Tuckson: the abstract sublime | 17 November 2018 – 17 February 2019
Brett Whiteley: drawing is everything | 15 December 2018 – 31 March 2019 | TICKETED
Heaven and earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei | 2 February – 5 May 2019 | TICKETED
The essential Duchamp | 27 April – 11 August 2019 | TICKETED
The National 2019: new Australian art | 29 March – 21 July 2019
Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2019 | 11 May – 8 September 2019 | TICKETED
Kaldor Public Art Projects: half a century in the public eye | 7 September 2019 – 16 February 2020
Quilty | 9 November 2019 – 2 February 2020


Chinese bible: revolution and art in China | 3 November 2018 – 28 April 2019
Melanesian art: redux | 17 November 2018 – 17 February 2019
Brett Whiteley: Wild life and other emergencies | 12 October 2018 – May 2019
ARTEXPRESS 2019 | 7 February – 28 April 2019
From where I stand | 13 April – 14 July 2019
Jeffrey Smart: constructed world | 11 May – 29 September 2019
The living need light, the dead need music | June 2019 – January 2020
Walking with gods I June 2019 – January 2020
In one drop of water | June 2019 – 2020
Wirrimanu: art from Balgo | 27 July – 17 November 2019
Significant others | 24 August – 13 October 2019
Dora Ohlfsen and the facade commission | October 2019 – March 2020


Archibald Prize 2018 regional tour
Geelong Gallery, VIC | 22 September – 18 November 2018
Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW | 30 November 2018 – 28 January 2019
Orange Regional Gallery, NSW | 8 February – 10 April 2019
Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW | 18 April – 17 June 2019

Archibald Prize 2019 regional tour
Tarrawarra Museum of Art VIC
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW
Gosford Regional Art Gallery, NSW
Bank Art Museum Moree, NSW
Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW

Yes yes yes yes: graphics from the 1960s and 1970s
Glasshouse Gallery, Port Macquarie NSW | 15 December 2018 – 3 February 2019

Playback: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2018 regional tour
Blue Mountains City Art Gallery NSW | 16 March – 5 May 2019
Orange Regional Gallery NSW 12 October – 8 December 2019

Mervyn Bishop
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, NSW | 16 November 2018 – 24 February 2019
Bank Art Museum Moree, NSW | April – June 2019


Cosmic futures: visionary Russian cinema | November 2018 – February 2019
Cult Taiwan | February – May 2019
Certain women | June – September 2019

Media contact

Hannah McKissock-Davis
Tel 02 9225 1671