Art Gallery of South Australia announces 2020 program highlights
From monsters to sensory encounters, samurai to surrealism – 2020 promises to be a year of experiences like no other at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
- Rhana Devenport, Director, AGSA
The Art Gallery of South Australia announced the highlights of its 2020 program today. The year ahead promises to engage and inspire Gallery visitors through diverse and immersive exhibitions, festivals and programs, offering a year of sensorial and provocative experiences for all.
In late February, the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres, the nation’s longest running survey of Australian Art, will mark its 30thanniversary. Curated by Leigh Robb, Monster Theatres will probe our understanding of fear, horror, strength and survival in the post-internet Anthropocene. Through the works of twenty-three artists, the pathology of the monster will be challenged, and the expectations of spectacle and storytelling will be ruptured. With support from The Balnaves Foundation and the Australian Council for the Arts, and AGSA’s Biennial Ambassadors, the Adelaide Biennial is the major visual art offering in the 2020 Adelaide Festival.
Alongside the Adelaide Biennial, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters will provide a marvellous historical context to the imaging of monsters in European printmaking from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, surveying the way in which artists have expressed their fears, fables and concerns in times past.
Sense-absorbing installations, optical encounters and moments of mesmeric intensity bring art to life at AGSA in winter 2020. Supported by the Neilson Foundation, Phenomena: Art as experience firmly anchors the viewer as the maker of meaning. It traces the experiential turn in international art practice, as audiences experience moments of immersion and encounter. Uncover large−scale installations and sensory works of art, never seen before in Adelaide, presented as a series of interconnecting experiences. Artists include Olafur Eliasson, Aki Inomata, Jitish Kallat, Yukultji Napangati and Ernesto Neto.
October will signal the return of Tarnanthi, AGSA’s annual celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, with thanks to Principal Partner BHP and the Government of South Australia. In 2020, Tarnanthi will involve an inspiring focus exhibition highlighting the work of senior women artists whose work includes passing on vital cultural knowledge to young women as the future leaders of their communities. During Tarnanthi, AGSA will present extensive array of talks, tours, performances, workshops and student programs as well as the hotly anticipated three-day Tarnanthi Art Fair.
For the first time, Tarnanthi goes international in 2020 with the presentation of a major touring exhibition in France of works by Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) artists. The centrepiece will be Kulata Tjuta, 2017, a collaborative installation work by some sixty Aṉangu artists, which includes 550 spears. The exhibition, supported by the Government of South Australia, will occupy an entire floor of the Musée des Beaux-Arts will coincide with Tarnanthi 2020 in Adelaide.
Further to these leading exhibitions, the 2020 program includes several other important explorations. Continuing until April 2020 is Adelaide Cool: The abstract art of David and John Dallwitz. The exhibition of rarely seen abstract art from these father-and-son artists highlights the vitality and virtuosity of their exploration of dynamic colour and formal geometric relationships.
Meanwhile, AGSA’s Morris & Co. display, the largest of its kind outside of Britain, is showcased in December 2019 and will continue into 2020. The reimagines the iconic works of nineteenth-century British decorative art, including furniture, ceramics and textiles, as well as recent acquisitions.
For Japan’s warriors, prowess on the battlefield was matched by an acute aesthetic sensibility, which will feature in the exhibition Samurai from late May. From the austerity of lacquer and tea bowls to the opulence of golden screens and armour, this exhibition demonstrates how the ethos and tastes of the Samurai (a military elite whose name means ‘one who serves’) permeated every aspect of Japanese art and culture from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Timing to coincide with South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival, the performance work of Seeing Through Darkness will open in August. This immersive work, directed by Michelle Ryan of Restless Dance Theatre responds through performance to the work of Expressionist artist Georges Rouault. As Ryan states, ‘the imperfect form of the body and the troubled soul of the work resonate with how people with disability can feel and be perceived.’
Finally, November will showcase Dušan and Voitre Marek: Surrealists at sea, the first major survey in Australia of art by Czech-Australian brothers Dušan and Voitre Marek. From their arrival in Adelaide in 1948, Dušan and Voitre set into motion a surge of new ideas and controversies that challenged the conventions of and shaped new pathways in Australian art.
Further 2020 offerings
No god but God: Art of Islam | Ongoing until 19 April 2020
Robyn Stacey: Ray of Light Touring Exhibition| Ongoing until October 2020
Chiharu Shiota: Absence Embodied | Ongoing