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29 Mar - 31 Dec

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20th Biennale of Sydney

18 Mar - 05 Jun


Telling Tales

02 Jun - 09 Oct

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ARTBAR and Vivid meet again

Dipped in colour and drenched in light, we hand the paintbrush over to Huseyin Sami to curate this month’s MCA ARTBAR as it collides with Vivid Sydney. more

Go-go Dance: from 60s Twist to Sydney

Let’s twist! Artist Bridie Connell talks history of 60s Go-go dance & where it’s at in Sydney today more

Visual arts sector United over funding cuts

Australia Council’s recent announcement that 65 organisations will no longer receive funding under its Four-Year Funding program (previously Key Organisations), delivering a major blow to our contemporary visual arts sector. more

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The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

MCA Collection: New Acquisitions 2007

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


27 Apr 2007 to 12 Aug 2007


John Barbour, Daniel Boyd, Rose Farrell & George Parkin, David Griggs, Fiona Lowry, Andrew McQualter, Jess MacNeil, Todd McMillan, Kate Murphy, Nell, David Noonan, Patricia Piccinini, Ben Quilty, Lynne Roberts-Goodwin, Louise Weaver

Curator: Rachel Kent

about the exhibition

New Acquisitions 2007 was an exhibition of works recently acquired for the Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent collection that celebrated the material and conceptual diversity of Australian art today. Like its predecessors, New Acquisitions 2007 was not built around one thematic premise: rather, it brought together selected works that explored multiple concerns through painting, watercolour, sculpture, photography, film and video.

In 2006-7, acquisitions for the MCA collection built upon its holding of film and video works by young and emerging Australian artists, with purchases of work by Sydney artists Todd McMillan, Kate Murphy and Jess MacNeil. The acquisition of projection works by Melbourne artists David Noonan and Patricia Piccinini further expanded the Museum’s moving-image collection and Noonan’s haunting, Gothic-style film of owls at night was augmented by a silkscreen created especially for the Museum.

Painting formed a focus for acquisitions with works by Daniel Boyd, Jess MacNeil, Ben Quilty and former Primavera artists David Griggs and Fiona Lowry. From Lowry’s subtle air-brushed application of paint to Quilty’s chunky, textured oils, and from the politically-charged messages of Boyd and Griggs to MacNeil’s fragmented travelogue, a range of methods and ideas was explored. Louise Weaver’s delicately crocheted Oracle Fox was a significant new sculptural addition to the MCA collection. Other recent acquisitions by John Barbour and Nell engaged with manual techniques such as stitching and beading, and unconventional ‘painterly’ materials such as silk and sequins. Farrell & Parkin’s photographs instead featured the artists within hand-constructed theatrical environments inspired by classical and Renaissance texts.

New Acquisitions 2007 introduced a significant new commission by Melbourne artist Andrew McQualter, in the form of a large-scale watercolour painted directly onto the gallery wall. Created only for the duration of the exhibition, this work was designed to be re-made in years to come according to templates provided by the artist. Challenging the idea of permanency and what an art museum ‘typically’ collects, McQualter’s work continued the MCA’s tradition of collecting instruction-based works.

A distinguishing feature of New Acquisitions 2007 was the global reach of its participants. While the artists featured were Australian, a number had travelled and worked abroad through artistic residencies and fellowships in the previous two years. Jess MacNeil’s works responded to time spent in India in 2005, while Lynne Roberts-Goodwin’s photographs of endangered falcon populations were made during the artist’s travels in the United Arab Emirates and wider Gulf region. Opening up new ideas and opportunities for cultural engagement, travel positions Australian contemporary artists alongside their international peers, as part of a wider global dialogue.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Rose Farrell
  • After the Fall, Act One
  • Cause for Consternation, Act Six
  • Unforeseen Circumstances, Act Two
David Griggs
  • Hellfire homestead BUSH wacking dingo (restaurant painting #4)
Fiona Lowry
  • lost to nothing
Jess MacNeil
  • The Shape of Between
  • Varanasi Two
Todd McMillan
  • By the Sea
Andrew McQualter
  • Untitled wall painting (for Helen Johnson)
  • Sunset
  • Unlimited Radiance
David Noonan
  • Owl
  • Untitled
George Parkin
  • After the Fall, Act One
  • Cause for Consternation, Act Six
  • Unforeseen Circumstances, Act Two
Ben Quilty
  • Van Rorschach
Lynne Roberts-Goodwin
  • azure saqr #1
  • azure saqr #2
  • azure saqr #3
  • Gulf Desert Saqr
  • Kaleef and Sheikhs' Saqr
Louise Weaver
  • It would seem that eyes can live without hearts (Oracle Fox)