Some mysterious process: 50 years of collecting international contemporary art
Curated by Gallery director Michael Brand
Questions of what and how the Gallery collects underpins this exhibition of highlights from the international contemporary art collection, all acquired over the past 50 years.
Explore the themes and a selection of the works.
About the exhibition
The title quotes American artist Philip Guston musing on the act of making art: ‘There’s some mysterious process at work here which I don’t even want to understand.’ Guston’s painting East tenth 1977, features in the exhibition which asks: how does a public art museum collect the products of such mysterious human activity?
Some mysterious process weaves together multiple threads of history to tell the story of how the international contemporary collection has come together — through the alchemy of planning and serendipity, curation and philanthropy, and the evolution of societal expectations. In doing so, this exhibition provides a platform for thinking about future collecting as we look ahead to the completion of the Sydney Modern Project with its significant new spaces.
Dana Schutz, 'Breastfeeding’, 2015
Artworks from the early years of collecting international contemporary art at the Art Gallery of NSW
The international phenomenon of pop art and its ongoing impact and legacy
Masterpieces of contemporary art acquired through the support of the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation
Artists from around the world who explore universal themes of love, loss, faith and memory
Minimalist and abstract artworks that celebrate geometry, repetition and an understated visual language
Looking to the future and the continuing expansion and diversification of the Gallery’s international collection