Sydney is preparing for a summer of blockbuster art

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A major retrospective of the works of Louise Bourgeois and a blockbuster Wassily Kandinsky exhibition are on their way 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 bring tourists to Sydney. to lure.

Related: The Sydney Modern project is finally open. Has the Art Gallery of NSW’s $344 million expansion paid off?

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

NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin said the three simultaneous exhibitions featuring major art world figures are expected to draw 28,000 art lovers to Sydney and inject $21 million into the economy.

“Securing these three extraordinary, world-renowned artists reaffirms Sydney as Australia’s cultural capital and a global hub for the arts,” Franklin said in the announcement Tuesday.

AGNSW director Michael Brand said the Bourgeois exhibit, titled Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded Day? have a name.

In Tuesday’s announcements, it was variously referred to as Sydney Modern, the New Building and the North Building. An AGNSW spokesperson said discussions were “ongoing” over a name for the $344 million expansion, which has nearly doubled the display space at the state art museum.

The Bourgeois exhibition, on view from November 2023 to April 2024, will occupy an entire gallery in the new building and the cavernous Tank space in the bowels of the building, which currently houses an installation by Argentine sculptor Adrián Villar Rojas. see is.

More than 150 works by the Paris-born artist will be part of the exhibition, which spans seven decades of creativity; Bourgeois passed away at the age of 99 in 2010. It will feature some of her earliest pieces created in the 1940s as a newly minted New Yorker – described by AGNSW curator Justin Paton as “sleek haunting works” such as Woman with Packages .

Several works by Bourgeois traveling to Sydney have never been shown in Australia, including her seminal 1970s installation, The Destruction of the Father; one of her iconic arachnid sculptures, Crouching Spider; and a large textile work titled Ode to the River, which brings together garments and fabrics collected during the artist’s lifetime to present “a book of memory,” Paton said.

The Kandinsky exhibit, which will be held in the AGNSW’s old building from November through March, will be drawn from the collection of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and 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 “an opinion leader who has driven our current thinking about what art is, what the artist is and what the artist does”.

Works coming to Australia include Blue Mountain, created by Kandinsky when he was a young Russian émigré living in Germany in the early 20th century, as well as his paintings from his Bauhaus years in 1920s Paris and of a decade later when he returned to the city, after fleeing Nazi Germany

Related: Tacita Dean: The critically acclaimed British recording artist poised to make history

At the same time, the AGNSW will host an exhibition of abstract watercolors by Victorian-era British spiritualist and medium Georgiana Houghton, who supposedly painted while in a spiritual trance.

Film artist Dean travels to Australia for her retrospective, which will premiere at the MCA in December. A Turner Prize nominee and winner of the 2002 Aachen Art Prize, Dean was described by MCA Director Suzanne Cotter as “one of the greatest living artists”. Dean’s exhibition includes a video work composed of images shot at Sydney’s Carriageworks during the 2014 Sydney Biennale.

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