Art Gallery of New South Wales releases new details of what it claims will be a game-changer for the country’s art scene
The AU$344 million project (made up of AU$244 million from the New South Wales government with the rest coming from private donors), designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA will see the addition of a new building and a new campus for the museum, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The new building will almost double AGNSW’s total exhibition space and promises galleries ‘specifically designed to accommodate the art of the 21st century’ (with largescale contemporary works housed in a 2,200-sqm decommissioned Second World War oil tank) and increased visibility for the institution’s holdings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, to be housed in the new building’s opening 960-sqm gallery.
The gallery, which stands on the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, is home to a collection of Australian art from the early nineteenth-century to the present, as well as significant holdings of Aboriginal, Asian and European art. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2022 and is expected to achieve new standards in ecological design.
Of the new development, Dr Michael Brand, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, said, ‘Sydney provides a unique perspective on the world that we are referencing for both the creation of new spaces and the revitalisation of our existing galleries. As we undertake this transformation, like many museums globally, we are working toward a more inclusive approach to engaging the public and a more global understanding of art.’