6 Sydney Art Shows Worth Getting to This Month

Getting out of your house to go and see art shouldn’t be a chore.

If you’re going to the right shows, that is. But with so many good quality galleries strewn across Sydney, how will you know which exhibitions are worth leaving your couch for? Well, by choosing the ones that are either offering free booze, or are on this list. We’ve got world-renowned photographers, crystal Marys, and Trump staffers engaging in below the belt services on old iPhones. If that sounds like a bore, you’re probably boring.


David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018

The collection will pay tribute to a career spanning six decades, and works that helped to establish him as one of the greatest living photographers in modern history. Born in South Africa in 1930, Goldblatt lived through some of the most turbulent times of South Africa’s troubled past, most notably the rise and fall of apartheid. The retrospective will include his work exploring South Africa’s mining industry, white middle class, forced segregation of black and Asian communities into townships under the Group Areas Act, and stories of the country’s ex-offenders and their crimes. A new feature-length documentary on the artist will also be screened alongside his photographic series and pieces from his personal archive.

19 October 2018 – 3 March 2019 at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.


Anyone who follows @contemporaryary will know the collective panic that rippled through Instagram when his feed suddenly went blank. Since 2015, Matthew Griffin (the Melbourne based artist behind the account) has been making short videos edited from original and found footage. They’re funny, clever, poke fun at all the right people, and now every single one of them lives on the internet no more. Instead, Griffin has stored each of the 68 clips—including the above screenshot of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as a foot masseuse—on a single iPhone, on display at Fine Arts, Sydney.

 11 October – 10 November at Fine Arts, Sydney

Holding Tulips

Hold On

When artist Jamie Preisz won the prestigious Packing Room Prize at the 2018 Archibald’s for his portrait of Aussie icon Jimmy Barnes, it was hardly surprising. The talented young painter/drawer/muralist has been making his mark in the Sydney art scene for a while now, and there’s only more to come. Case in point, his latest exhibition at Jerico Contemporary entitled, Hold On. The body of work is a series of stunning paintings of hands; a love letter created whilst grieving the loss of his sister to the people in his life, and a gentle reminder of our own humanity. Do not miss this one.

25th October – 17th of November 2018 at Jerico Contemporary

William Kentridge The hope in the charcoal cloud 2014 (detail) Collection of Naomi Milgrom AO © William Kentridge

That Which We Do Not Remember

William Kentridge, a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films, has curated his body of work That Which We Do Not Remember for the Art Gallery of NSW. The 63-year-old artist’s work often delves into his upbringing and surroundings growing up Jewish during the apartheid regime in South Africa (his parents were renowned lawyers who defended apartheid victims). From animated drawings to sculpture and works on paper, Kentridge’s works explore themes of ideology, history and memory, and will be sitting alongside of eight other temporary exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW—birds with a stone and all that.

8 Sep 2018 – 3 Feb 2019 at Art Gallery of NSW

Kyle Montgomery

Sydney artist Kyle Montgomery spends a lot of time seeking out second hand Mary statues online—almost as long as he takes repairing them with crystals. Montgomery’s statues represent a collision of beliefs, creations that merge traditional, revered symbols of the Christian faith, with crystals signifying New Age spiritualism. He’ll be bringing his collection of iconography to China Heights Gallery once more this October, and you should drop by and check them out for yourself.

Opens 26th of October at China Heights Gallery, Sydney

Safaa Erruas. Photo by Fouad Maazouz.

Landless Bodies

Featuring six Moroccan and Moroccan-Australian artists, Landless Bodies held at the Casula Powerhouse will explore female identity beyond the contrasts of geographical boundaries. A number of international artists will be making their Australian debut, including Safaa Erruas, whose stark white works pierced with needles and other metallic objects evoke silent wounds; Batoul Shimi, renowned for her exquisitely-carved gas canisters representing the explosive pressures on modern women; and Fatima Mazmouz, whose work questions identity, the body, language, and dialogue.

6 October – 11 November, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

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