Three Biennales And Premier Arts Events Unite To Create Australia's First Art Grand Tour

Three biennales and premier arts events unite to create Australia’s first Art Grand Tour: an unmissable season across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to kickstart the cultural calendar in 2024.

By: Feb. 09, 2024

For the first time, the Biennale of Sydney, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography, Melbourne, are aligning their openings and uniting with major art event Melbourne Art Fair to create Australia's first Art Grand Tour across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

These free, large-scale biennales celebrate contemporary art practice and visual culture and collectively form a multi-city art experience for interstate and international visitors alongside NGV Triennial, MPavilion 10 by Tadao Ando, Adelaide Festival, projections on the Sydney Opera House and a major Louise Bourgeois exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Marking the Biennale of Sydney's 50th anniversary year, the 2024 edition Ten Thousand Suns is led by artistic directors Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero and features dynamic artworks, large-scale installations and site-specific projects by 88 artists and collectives from 47 countries. The largest contemporary art event of its kind in Australia, the 24th Biennale of Sydney challenges Western fatalistic constructions of the apocalypse and embraces a hopeful outlook around a possible future lived in joy, produced in common and shared widely. It will be presented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, UNSW Galleries and the recently restored White Bay Power Station, from 9 March to 10 June. And experience Badu Gili: Celestial illuminating the Sydney Opera House Bennelong Sails every night after sunset throughout 2024.

Visitors to Sydney will also be able to experience Louise Bourgeois: Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day?, the largest survey of the pioneering French-American artist ever displayed in Australia and the first monographic exhibition staged in the Art Gallery of New South Wales' new SANAA-designed building, until 28 April 2024.   

The 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum is curated by José Da Silva and offers an encounter with 24 artists and poets interested in the human condition, from 1 March to 2 June. The project unfolds across exhibitions, performances and talks that explore our engagement with the world and each other. The Adelaide Biennial is part of the Adelaide Festival, which runs from 1 to 17 March and is celebrated for its world-class artistic excellence and innovation. Curated by Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE and Chief Executive Kath M Mainland CBE, 2024's line-up features 64 events including Australian Premieres by Marina Abramović, Laurie Andersen and Víkingur Ólafsson.

In Melbourne, Australia's newest biennale returns from 1 to 24 March for its third edition: PHOTO 2024. Addressing the theme The Future Is Shaped by Those Who Can See It, PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography presents 100 free exhibitions and outdoor installations across seven Festival Precincts and extends into five regional cities. Presented by PHOTO Australia in partnership with over 50 museums and galleries including ACMI, State Library Victoria, Museum of Australian Photography, and the Centre for Contemporary Photography, PHOTO 2024 features over 150 artists including icons Nan Goldin, Malick Sidibé and Rennie Ellis.

PHOTO 2024 is preceded by Melbourne Art Fair (22 to 25 February 2024), presenting solo shows and works of scale and significance from 60 of the region's leading galleries and Indigenous art centres over 7,500sqm at the Denton Corker Marshall designed Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Gallery and art centre presentations will be complemented by a broader program of large-scale installations, video works, performance, conversations, and the unveiling of the 2024 Melbourne Art Foundation Commission, haloed by the theme of ketherba – a Boon Wurrung word used to express a togetherness imbued with promise, one that not only transcends but embraces difference and gives cause for hope.

Visitors to Melbourne will also be able to experience NGV Triennial (until 7 April) and MPavilion 10 (until 28 March). NGV Triennial features the work of 120 artists, designers and collectives at the forefront of global contemporary practice across all four levels of NGV International to create a powerful and moving portrait of the world today. Australia's foremost annual architectural commission, MPavilion 10 by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando is an iconic new destination hosting over 30 free talks, music, workshops and activations during March.

Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney said: This inaugural Art Grand Tour is the perfect excuse to enjoy an art-filled trip across the Eastern Seaboard of Australia. This tour is an exciting celebration of the power of art to connect, share and bring joy. Admission to The Biennale of Sydney is free, so make sure to include it as a stop on this abundant tour, and experience the most innovative contemporary art and ideas from around the world.  

Rhana Devenport, Director, Art Gallery of South Australia said: Experience an extraordinary art adventure across three states and immerse yourself in the magic of Australian art. Discover contemporary art at the Biennale of Sydney, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography, and more. It's a rare opportunity to experience these exemplary gatherings of art that push boundaries, and alter your perceptions, and create new memories. 

Elias Redstone: Founder/Artistic Director, PHOTO Australia said: There has never been a better time for visitors and locals to explore Australian and international art across Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. PHOTO 2024 is proud to unite with the Biennale of Sydney and the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, as well as leading art events including MPavilion and Melbourne Art Fair, to create a once in a lifetime Art Grand Tour that will inspire audiences with immersive art experiences that celebrate human connection as society faces uncertain futures.

For more information visit artgrandtour.org.



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