With thousands of artworks, thousands of visitors (25,000 last year), commissioned works, green rooms, showcases and such it is easy to get distracted and miss the extraordinary. The three-day event is to some extent needed if you are going to look at everything.
And then, some galleries do a different hang each day, so just when you think you have a handle on what speaks to you, there is something new to tempt. To make life easier, these are ten (impossible, so it’s 13) of the best, it is not definitive, nor is it prescriptive and there is a democratic cross-section of art types and price points, but it is a starting point!
Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert
Always interesting and often challenging perceptions around the art and design intersection Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert will this year offer a group show of exciting new works by Fernando do Campo, Jordan Gogos and the extraordinary Marion Borgelt. The gallery will also present a small salon hang of work by female artists including Ivana Taylor, Tammy Kanat and Sarah Rayner.
One of the most consistently good of the annual exhibitors, Fox Jensen will this year present a rotating exhibition of new and existing works from their stable of superstar artists including, Jan Albers, Robert Malherbe, Tomislav Nikolic, Matthew Allen and Hanns Kunitzberger.
Koen Delaere, Cheyenne, 2022, Acrylic, pigment and oil paint on canvas, 140x100cm. Courtesy of the artist and Fox Jensen
Whaling Road Studio
Whaling Road Studio in the Paper Contemporary is set to deliver a fabulous selection of hand-printed artworks (Diana Davidson of Whaling Road Studio is one of Australia’s leading Master printmakers) by artists of excellent calibre including Dorothy Napangardi.
Alcaston Gallery is another constant of quality and this year’s exhibition of important works by one of Australia’s most renowned contemporary artists, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori (c.1924 – 2015), including a major four-and-a-half metre work with extraordinary provenance, is sure to wow. The exhibition follows her major international solo survey exhibitions at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris in 2022, and the Triennale Milano, Italy in 2023.
Once again Sullivan+Strumpf is setting the bar high with leading artists Marion Abraham, Tony Albert, Glenn Barkley, Yvette Coppersmith, Daniel Crooks, Lynda Draper, Greg Hodge, Joanna Lamb, Michael Lindeman, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Alex Seton, Michael Zavros, and the first new work by Julia Gutman since winning the Archibald Prize 2023.
N.Smith Gallery will pair the gallery’s senior artists, Danie Mellor, Joan Ross, and James Tylor, with their emerging artists, Dylan Mooney, Thea Anamara Perkins, Kyra Mancktelow, Tom Blake and Joshua Charadia, to create exciting new works.
Roslyn Oxley9 will premiere vivid new works by celebrated Yolgnu artist Dhambit Munuŋgurr, with her distinct brushstrokes and palettes of cobalt blue echoing depictions of the sky and sea.
Dhambit Mununggurr, Ḏilthan Yolnnha-Healing, 2022, Earth pigments and acrylic on bark, 234x124cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Photo by David Suyasa
ARC ONE continue to impress with photographic works by Murray Fredericks and Janet Laurence that ask audiences to reflect on important climate issues facing our planet, presenting the extremities of fire and ice. Fredericks brings his Australian debut of ‘BLAZE’, where he has created phantasmic images of fire and flood, while Laurence showcases a new body of work addressing concerns for the plight of Antarctica.
Murray Fredericks, BLAZE #9, Lake Pamarmaroo, Menindee, 2022, digital pigment print. Courtesy the artist and Arc One Gallery
Galleria Continua is showing the widely acclaimed British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, in Sydney for the first time since 2010, and continuing his investigation into the relationship of the human body to space. The solo presentation will feature Gormley’s four-part work Wrestling with Modernism alongside four independent Blockworks.
Antony Gormley, COTCH-II, 2017, Cast iron 67 x 70 x 54.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua. Photo by Jessica Maurer
Blackartprojects will again impress with a group exhibition, including a new large scale terracotta figure by rising Indigenous artist Billy Bain, who was a finalist in this year’s Wynne and Sulman prizes. Bain’s work explores his experience as an Indigenous man existing within urban Australia.
Artereal Gallery presents new works by experimental ceramicist Ebony Russell, known for her tactile ceramic works made from cake-piped porcelain, created in mentorship with renowned Australian author Nikki Gemmell, both delving into strong feminist themes within their practices.
Ebony Russell, De•Corum: Sunny Sad Face Jardinière With Daisies, 2022, Piped porcelain and stain, 17x17x14cm. Courtesy of the artist and Artereal Gallery. Photo by Simon Hewson
day01. presents dynamic new paintings by Martin Poppelwell created during the apocalyptic aftermath of New Zealand’s recent Cyclone Gabrielle, which hit the heart of Hawkes Bay where the artists’ studio is situated, leaving widespread devastation in the region.
Sutton Gallery presents a group exhibition, including a new painting by Gian Manik, depicting dancers from the Australian Ballet in various stages of movement in front of a backdrop inspired by a scene from Swan Lake.
Showcasing 96 emerging and established galleries from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, Sydney Contemporary returns to Carriageworks this year with its largest edition to date featuring over 500 artists.
Sydney Contemporary runs from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 September at Carriageworks, Sydney (Gadigal land).
Habitus readers can receive 25% off tickets*, use discount code HABITUS25 at the checkout – tickets available here.
* discount applies to day tickets and expires 30 August 2023
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