ART FIX | Art entertainment

State Gallery Exhibitions to Visit this Year

Here is a taste of what to diarise for the year ahead as you tour our remarkable country.

To add a little ‘flavour’ to your visits, I have also suggested a few favourite restaurants and bars of mine along the way… art, food and wine, could there be anything better?!

– Justin

Sydney Modern
an extraordinary new space for contemporary Australian and International art 


The $344 million Sydney Modern Project opened to great critical acclaim in December. It is without a doubt the most significant cultural development in the city since the opening of the Sydney Opera House nearly half a century ago. Together with the NSW Government’s $244 million in funding, the Art Gallery has raised more than $100 million from private donors to support this significant investment in art and culture for future generations.

The new building, designed by SANAA with Architectus as executive architect, has been delivered by Infrastructure NSW on behalf of the government and the Art Gallery and, despite the vicissitudes of covid, was built and delivered on schedule by Richard Crookes Constructions.

Please click here for more information.  


To Eat:
Bistrot 916, Challis Avenue, Potts Point (A French neo-bistro: Bistrot 916 brings a cool, understated elegance to its landmark Challis Avenue site at the Paris end of Potts Point.)

To Drink:
Ace Hotel’s ‘Lobby Bar’ and ‘Kiln’, Wentworth Avenue, Sydney


Mind, Mythos, Muse, Alexander McQueen 
National Gallery of Victoria


11 December 2022 – 16 April 2023

“Showcasing more than 120 garments and accessories, Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse offers insight into McQueen’s far-reaching sources of inspiration, his creative processes and capacity for storytelling. Displayed alongside McQueen’s innovative designs are more than eighty artworks – spanning painting, sculpture, textiles, prints, photography and decorative arts – that help to illuminate the interdisciplinary impulse that defined his career. Drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – the exhibition reveals common themes and visual reference points that connect his practice with that of artists and designers throughout history. McQueen’s designs were always personal and complex responses to the world around him: he once stated, ‘Fashion is just the medium’.”

I’d have to say the Alexander McQueen exhibition at London’s V&A several years ago was one of the most enthralling and impressively installed fashion exhibitions I’ve ever seen; so too the NGV’s McQueen show is  beautifully installed and not to be missed – Justin. 

Please click here for tickets and further information. 

To Eat:
Marion, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (and if you’re thirsty after dinner, potter down to Poodle Bar and Bistro for a cocktail or three – Justin)

To Drink:
Embla, Russel Street, Melbourne



Thomas Saraceno: Oceans of Air
Museum of Old and New Art


17 December 2022 – 24 July 2023

“In this exhibition at Mona, you will find Saraceno’s contagious curiosity on full display. He is the creator of work so complex that he leads a huge multidisciplinary studio to manifest his vision, drawing energy and inspiration from science, nature, architecture, local communities, design, engineering, environmentalism, anthropology, music, history, technology…

Come see Saraceno draw all that in, and turn out work ranging from the miniscule to the vast, with a kaleidoscopic array of materials including spider webs, radiation balloons, fine particle pollution from the skies of Mumbai, air samples from across Australia, dust from our museum, radio frequencies generated by meteoroids penetrating the earth’s outer atmosphere and recorded from the roof of Saraceno’s Berlin studio, flora from Mona, and the leaves of Tasmania’s only deciduous native tree arranged as a diptych, each panel displaying the effects of traditional and colonial land management practices.” 

Please click here for more information.  

To Eat:
Hellenika, The Calile Hotel, James Street

To Drink:
Mr Percival’s, Boundary Street, Brisbane City (This overwater bar is situated directly beneath the majestic Story Bridge and provides unrivalled views of Brisbane’s cityscape)



Art Gallery of South Australia

Until 2 April 2023

Described as ‘the world’s most popular artist’, Yayoi Kusama is best known for her immersive polka-dot and mirror installations. Over the course of her 70-year career, she has engaged with an expansive idea of space and the human body. She uses several recurring motifs – dots, eyes, nets and pumpkins – to investigate repetition and to create sensory experiences that hint at the infinite.

With this installation, Kusama invites viewers to immerse themselves in her world, to participate in an experience of both enveloping and infinite space, and a round trip from the microscopic into the cosmic. Here, the dots of the wider room and the pumpkins wutgub tge ‘peep-space’, seem to reproduce at an alarming rate, overgrowing their environment and threatening to obliterate the viewer’s body.

Please click here for more information.  

To Eat:
Press* Food & Wine, Waymouth Street, Adelaide

To Drink:
Bird in Hand, Pfeiffer Road, Woodside (with the Clare Valley, Barossa and McLaren Vale on your doorstep obviously head to the wine regions. This is a special recommendation located in the charming  heritage village of Woodside – Justin)


Cressida Campbell
National Gallery of Australia 

24 September 2022 – 19 February 2023

Cressida Campbell is among Australia’s most significant contemporary artists working with painting and printmaking. Directly inspired by her surroundings, for over 40 years the Gadigal/Sydney-based artist has transformed commonplace experiences from her life into single edition prints and painted woodblocks.  

The survey exhibition presents the depth and virtuosity of Campbell’s work, extending from intimate interior views through to panoramic coastal landscapes. It is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue that features writing from curators, artists, poets and other voices. 

Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax and her colleagues have curated a not-to-be-missed exhibition. Cressida’s works are, quite simply, exquisite. – Justin

Please click here for tickets and more information


To Eat:
Inka, Bunda Street, Canberra

To Drink:
(It’s a tyranny of choice in cool Canberra. Among our favourites are Molly, Hippo Co and Bar Rochford. – Justin)


Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards 
Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory

22 July 2023 –  14 January 2024 

The Telstra National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Telstra NATSIAA), presented by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, has celebrated the richness and diversity of contemporary Indigenous art for 37 years, and is Australia’s most pre-eminent Indigenous art awards. Telstra has been the proud principal partner of the NATSIAAs for 29 of those years.

The highlight of the Darwin art calendar is without a doubt the annual NATSIAA award. It’s a good idea to book your tickets early because this much anticipated exhibition is always a sell out. – Justin

Please click here for more information. 

To Eat:
(I tend not to in Darwin, it’s too hot – Justin)

To Drink:
The Ski Club, Conacher Street, Fanny Bay (this super casual bar overlooking Fanny Bay is the perfect place to unwind and watch the sunset. Full of colourful local characters, it doesn’t get any more Australian than this – Justin)


Art Gallery of Western Australia

dis/possession displays works drawn entirely from the State Art Collection, centring on the juxtaposition of two significant works by Australian artists: Hans Heysen’s Droving into the light and Mervyn Street’s Bull ride.

Painted approximately 100 years apart, each offers a view of rural Australia that reflects the preoccupations of the artist at the time of the work’s production. Street, a Gooniyandi artist from Fitzroy Crossing, worked as a stockman at a time when the impact of the pastoral movement was being fully felt by Western Australian Kimberley Indigenous communities. German-born Heysen lived and worked in the Adelaide Hills during an era in which Australia as a young nation continued to be positioned as a locale of opportunity for colonisation.

Heysen’s and Street’s paintings are accompanied by other works from the Collection to give context to the historical narratives of the time. For the first time, the Gallery is displaying all of its work by Heysen to illustrate this artist’s remarkable career. Heysen’s work is also accompanied by examples of the work of his contemporaries, and the historical tradition which influenced his practice. Including works by George Clausen, Elioth Gruner, Jean-Francois Millet, J M W Turner and Henri van Raalte. Frederick McCubbin’s Down on his luck also returns to display after touring to the National Gallery of Victoria and Geelong Gallery. 

Please click here for tickets and more information. 

To Eat:
Wildflower, Cathedral Avenue, Perth

To Drink:
Leeuwin Estate, Stevens Road, Margaret River (If you’re visiting Perth’s celebrated wine region, drop in on our friends, the Horgan Family who run Leeuwin Estate. The estate has been operational for over 50 years and is internationally renowned for its ‘art series’ wine collection, which feature paintings by famous contemporary Australian artists on their labels – Justin)