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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

In line with decisions made by the National Cabinet as communicated by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is currently closed but will reopen to the public on 1 June. The Gallery will be observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the State. More information


Love, sex and death: The constant companions of art - Art appreciation lecture series 2020

Love, sex and death: The constant companions of art - Art appreciation lecture series 2020

Whilst Oscar Wilde once stated that ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates life’, the course in 2020 will look at how love, sex and death, and artists’ obsessions with these, underpin much of the art that has been produced for millennia.

The theme will provide new information about some artists who we thought we knew but whose skills and output were sometimes driven by other desires. We also look at why some artists died lonely and under-appreciated whilst others had celebrated careers, grand funerals and elaborate tombs.

Image: Richard Larter Five in a row show 1969 (detail). Art Gallery of New South Wales

7 Tracks
01 Michael Brand: Love, sex and death - reading life through the art museum
02 Iain Shearer: Orpheus and Ishtar - death defying desire
03 Jason Smith: The family tree stops here darling - the art of David McDiarmid and David Wojnarowicz
04 Howard Morphy: Death and the regeneration of life – bodily themes and imagery in Yolngu art
05 Peter McNeil: Oscar Wilde and the green carnation - sex, queer desire and decadence
06 Jeremy Clarke: Sexy Shanghai calendar girls and the artists who painted them
07 Andrew McNamara: Between apocalypse and redemption - German modernism 1903–33