Contemporary art Sydney over summer

Sydney contemporary art scene is vibrant and enthusiastic all year but our long summer months allow us to show off so much more art in open spaces.  sydneycool has put together a small and not to miss list so you get the best of the best so here’s our top picks of the ‘must sees’.


sydney contemporary art - Neils Astrup - bondi sculpture by the sea

Niels Astrup's previous sculpture for Sculpture by the Sea Bondi


October 2013


The annual Sculpture by the Sea runs from 24 October to 10 November and so Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach and coastline morphs into the world’s largest temporary sculpture park.  This year – 107 very diverse sculptures by artists from 14 countries with 50 artists exhibiting for the first time in the Sydney Sculpture by the Sea. After a break of a few years Danish sculptor Niels Astrup, is creating a work on the sea – a floating piece.  Other highlights include Chinese artist Qian Sihua’s large bubble-gum blowing head


sydney contemporary art - Qian-Sihua---sculpture-by-the-sea-bondi

Qian Shia – Sculpture by the Sea Bondi


large kinetic works by Hiroyuki Kita from Japan, New Zealand sculptor Phil Price and two works by the late Bert Flugelman AM, one of the most celebrated Australian sculptors.


November 2013


November is – WAR IS OVER! (If you want it) – the first Australian survey of Yoko Ono’s work at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney.  In this exhibition, there’s sculpture, immersive installations, written texts, films, sound compositions and participatory art works involving a range of hands-on activities.

The exhibition highlights include Wish Tree for Sydney – visitors write their private wishes on small paper cards and tie them to branches of native Australian trees. Over time, the cards accumulate like blossoms and become symbolic of the collective power of hopes and dreams.   The other major installation is Telephone in Amaze – a transparent  maze which visitors walk through. In the centre is a telephone which Ono rings periodically over the course of the exhibition and speaks to the person who answers.



Yoko Ono - mca sydney - sydney contemporary art

Yoko Ono – Cut Piece – The War is Over – MCA Sydney 15th November 2013 to 23 February 2014


January 2014


In January 2014 as part of the Sydney Festival, the 28th Kaldor Public Art Project presents three works by internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Roman Ondák. It’s on at Parramatta Town Hall from 10 until 24 January 2014.  There’s two of his most celebrated works and one new work by the Slovakian artist.  sydneycool is excited to see the return of `Swap’, it was one of the rooms in the last Kaldor Art Project - 13 Rooms in April 2013.  ‘Swap’ is a performance work involving the public in a chain of barter and exchange that blends art with everyday life.

The other previously shown work is Measuring the Universe’ (2007), last seen at MoMA in New York and the TATE St Ives in England.



The new work, especially concieved for Kaldor Public Art Projects – ‘Terrace’ is a reproduction of Ondak’s own terrace at his home in Bratislava, Slovakia.


February 2014


February is time for the 29th Kaldor Public Art Project – this time contemporary artist Tino Sehgal’s work This is so contemporary – first presented at the 2005 Venice Biennale.  Sehgal, who received the Golden Lion at the 2013 Biennale di Venezia, creates innovative works that consist purely of live encounters between people in museums.

Sehgal sets up encounters between his performers through dance, voice and movement.  His works, which respond directly to  visitors, are probably better described as live works rather than performance works.  John Kaldor says that  Sehgal’s works ‘ our eyes to a radical new way to engage with art, they must be experienced to be fully understood’.  He first saw Sehgal’s work Kiss at the Berlin Biennale 2006 was mesmerised by its power and simple beauty.

sydneycool was at the venice biennale 2013 and got the chance to see Tino Seghal’s work – here’s a clip of that work.



Tino Sehgal’s This is so contemporary is on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 6 to 23 February 2014.  Thanks to Kaldor Public Art Projects for bring such great contemporary art works to Sydney.



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3 Responses to Contemporary art Sydney over summer

  1. Chris Ross

    Don’t forget the Christian Boltanski show at Carriageworks.

    • faintheart

      We’re featuring Christian Boltanski in a separate story on sydneycool shortly.

  2. Pingback: Christian Boltanski - sydney contemporary art - sydney festival

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