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The National announces curators as the exhibition expands to Campbelltown Arts Centre

27 June 2022

Five women in a row. Three are sitting on stools and two are standing.

Curators of The National 4: Australian Art Now (left to right) Beatrice Gralton (Art Gallery of NSW), Jane Devery (MCA Australia), Freja Carmichael and Aarna Fitzgerald Hanley (Carriageworks) and Emily Rolfe (Campbelltown Arts Centre). Photo: Renee Nowytarger

An all-female curatorial team will curate The National 4: Australian Art Now as the biennial survey of Australian contemporary art expands to Greater Sydney.

Four of Sydney’s leading cultural institutions – the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia – will present the next three editions (2023, 2025, 2027) of The National.

The National 4: Australian Art Now curators are: Beatrice Gralton at the Art Gallery of NSW; Emily Rolfe at Campbelltown Arts Centre; Freja Carmichael and Aarna Fitzgerald Hanley at Carriageworks; and Jane Devery at the MCA Australia.

Since the inaugural edition in 2017, the partnering institutions have concurrently presented this biennial exhibition showcasing the latest ideas and forms of contemporary Australian art. As with previous iterations, this next edition of The National will showcase new work being made across the country by artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds.

The first three editions of The National attracted close to 1 million visitors and presented the work of 158 contemporary artists, collectives and collaboratives across the partnering institutions.

In 2023, the exhibition will expand to include Campbelltown Arts Centre, bringing The National to an even broader public across Greater Sydney. Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, Michael Dagostino expressed his excitement to be joining the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks and the MCA Australia.

'The National is a rare opportunity to discover new ways of working with major cultural organisations to create ambitious artistic projects. We thrive on working in partnership, it allows us to create a platform for an open exchange of ideas and perspectives. Working collaboratively, we will reach different audiences and engage our communities in new ways,’ said Dagostino.

In a joint directors' statement, Michael Brand (Art Gallery of NSW), Blair French (Carriageworks) and Suzanne Cotter (MCA Australia) said: ‘We are pleased to announce that The National, a successful showcase for contemporary Australian art practices, is extending for another three editions. We are particularly delighted to welcome Campbelltown Arts Centre as a new partner in this endeavour. Since 2017 The National has created career-defining opportunities for hundreds of Australian artists. We greatly look forward to expanding this reach and impact even further over the coming editions.’

The exhibition dates for The National 4: Australian Art Now are:

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales: Saturday 18 March – Sunday 25 June 2023

  • Campbelltown Arts Centre: Thursday 30 March – Sunday 25 June 2023

  • Carriageworks: Thursday 30 March – Sunday 25 June 2023

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Friday 31 March – Sunday 25 June 2023

  • The full artist list will be revealed later this year. For updates visit The National website.

Exhibition partners