Sydney’s premier summer of art

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A major survey of the works of Louise Bourgeois and a major Wassily Kandinsky exhibition are heading to the Art Gallery of New South Wales later this year, as part of a targeted bid by the NSW government and Destination NSW to attract tourists to Sydney.

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The Sydney International Art Series for 2023-2024 will also include a major show for British-German artist Tacita Dean at the Museum of Contemporary Art in December, featuring a number of new works commissioned by the museum.

NSW arts minister Ben Franklin said the three simultaneous exhibitions featuring major art figures are expected to attract 28,000 art lovers to Sydney and inject $21m into the economy.

“These three extraordinary, world-renowned artists reaffirm Sydney as Australia’s cultural capital and global hub for the arts,” Franklin said at Tuesday’s announcement.

AGNSW director Michael Brand said the Bourgeois exhibition, entitled Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded Day?, would be spread across two gallery spaces and marked the first monographic exhibition of the gallery’s new contemporary art building , which does not yet exist. to have a name.

At Tuesday’s announcement, it was variously called Sydney Modern, the New Building and the North Building. An AGNSW spokesman said talks were “ongoing” over a name for the $344m expansion, which almost doubles the exhibition space at the state art museum.

The Bourgeois exhibition, which will be displayed from November 2023 to April 2024, will be located in a full gallery in the new building and in the cavernous Umar space in the bowels of the building, which currently has an installation by the Argentinian sculptor Adrián Villar Rojas.

More than 150 works by the artist born in Paris will be part of the exhibition, which will last seven years of creation; Bourgeois died aged 99 in 2010. It will include some of the earliest pieces created as a New Yorker in the 1940s – described by AGNSW curator Justin Paton as “subtle work”, such as Woman with Packages .

A number of Bourgeois’ works traveling to Sydney, Australia, have never been shown, including her pioneering 1970s installation The Destruction of the Father; one of his iconic arachnid sculptures, Crouching Spider; and a large textile work titled Ode to the River, which compiles garments and fabrics collected over the artist’s lifetime to present a “book of memory,” Paton said.

The Kandinsky exhibition, which will be housed in the old AGNSW building from November to March, will be based on the collection of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and will be curated by Megan Fontanella of New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

Jackie Dunn, senior curator at the AGNSW, said the Russian-born father of abstract art “was a thought leader who inspired our thinking today about what art is, what an artist is and what the artist does. an artist”.

Among the works coming to Australia will be Blue Mountain, which Kandinsky created when he was a young Russian émigré living in Germany in the early 20th century, as will his paintings from his Bauhaus years in 1920s Paris and ten years later when he returned to the city. , after fleeing Nazi Germany

Related: Tacita Dean: the famous British artist who is about to make history

An exhibition of abstract watercolors will be held at the AGNSW at the same time as the Victorian-era British spiritualist Georgiana Houghton, who would paint, apparently in a spiritual trance.

Film artist Dean will travel to Australia for his retrospective, which will open at the MCA in December. A Turner prize nominee and winner of the 2002 Aachen Art prize, MCA director Suzanne Cotter described Dean as “one of the greatest living artists”. Dean’s exhibition will include video work compiled from footage taken at Sydney’s Carriageworks during the 2014 Sydney Biennale.

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