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Sydney Redefines Modern


To say that the weight of showcasing to the world Sydney's- or even Australia's- prowess in contemporary art rests heavy on the shoulders of the new extension of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is a grave understatement, a decade in the making. Sydney Modern, the extension's affectionate but unofficial moniker, is perhaps the most significant addition to a cultural institution in the city since the Opera House half a century ago.


Opened to the public since December last year, the SANAA-conceived building comprises a cluster of interlocked, rectilinear pavilions grouped around a large, glass-walled atrium at the building's centre. The principals behind the Pritzer Prize-winning firm, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawato, wanted to "design an art museum building that is harmonious with its surroundings, one that breathes with the city, the park and the harbour". Judging from the seamless integration of the building with its environs, it might very well have just achieved that.


The art itself strongly reflects a refreshed emphasis on First Nations art which welcomes visitors right from the get go, befitting of the institution's status as being home to one of the world’s largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. All this stand proudly alongside other prominent local and international contemporary acquisitions all across the doubled exhibition space, including Samara Golden's "Guts" and installations by the Argentine Adrian Villar Rojas.


Bespokcracy is proud to have visited the extension first-hand through a private tour most kindly arranged by the marketing and curatorial teams. We are so grateful for this and hope that our partnership will help drive more art-curious visitors and art lovers to marvel at the space and the art alike.


Please drop us a DM to enquire about possible private and bespoke tours of Sydney Modern if the article above has pigued your interest.


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