– Highlights

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec


Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul


Jenny Watson

05 Jul - 02 Oct

– Learning Events

Special Event

ARTBAR July 2017

28 Jul, 7.00pm, MCA


Art Safari

08 Aug, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning



09 Aug, 6.30pm, Level 3: Digital Studio in NCCL

– News from inside the MCA

6 ways to warm up your winter at MCA

Got the winter blues? Melt them away at the MCA. more

Unmapping: Charting New Pathways to Creativity

Artist Educator Ella Condon created a site specific work for Unmapping – a student program run in collaboration with Sydney Story Factory and MCA. more

The Beats Behind Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Learn about the music and melodies that have inspired artist Jenny Watson through the decades. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

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

Past Touring Exhibitions

Teena’s Bathtime

Teena’s Bathtime is a playful artwork that invites audiences to assist in giving the artist’s sausage dog a bath. Drawing on animal assisted therapies, the installation encourages physical participation and exploration using multiple senses.

The MCA Bella program was established in 1993 through the generosity of MCA patrons Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM, and the Jackson family in memory of their late daughter and sister Belinda.

Touring Dates & Locations

Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW
February 4 2017 – May 28, 2017

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String Theory

String theory: Focus on contemporary Australian art, is a touring exhibition from the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, that explores innovative approaches to fibre and art in a contemporary context.

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Remain In Light

Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections is a MCA Australia touring exhibition of over 70 artworks by Australian and international artists collected by the University of Sydney and the Museum of Contemporary Art during a period spanning more than 50 years.

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The Wandering: Moving images from the MCA Collection

The Wandering: Moving images from the MCA Collection took us on a unique journey through contemporary Australian art. The immediacy of moving image provided opportunities for art to engage with audiences in ways that are different to static, more traditional mediums, such as painting and sculpture. The exhibition presented artworks acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia by 15 leading artists, Vernon Ah Kee, Peter Alwast, Lauren Brincat, Daniel Crooks, Hayden Fowler, Shaun Gladwell, Richard Lewer, Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano, Todd McMillan, Tracey Moffatt, Patricia Piccinini, Grant Stevens, Daniel von Sturmer and Christian Thompson. It embraced a diversity of voices and styles, including works made using animation, celluloid and domestic video, and ideas from social politics and representation, through to genetic engineering and virtual environments.

The Wandering takes its title from artist Grant Stevens’ work in the exhibition. Stevens’ video lead us somewhere completely unexpected and, like all the artworks in the exhibition, encouraged us to see and think differently about the world around us. This title also reflects the roaming nature of the project. By bringing moving image works out of the Museum and onto the road, The Wandering enabled audiences across the country to encounter key works from the MCA’s Collection that surprised, challenged and inspired, providing new contexts in which to engage and learn.

The Wandering: Moving images from the MCA Collection was accompanied by an e-publication and a range of resources and programs to be used in association with the exhibition, and delivered at each venue.

This touring project was supported by the Visions of Australia Contemporary Touring Initiative.

Tour Itinerary

Ararat Regional Gallery: 14 March – 14 April 2013
Cairns Regional Gallery: 26 April – 23 June 2013
Glasshouse Port Macquarie: 4 July – 25 August 2013
Artspace Mackay: 20 September – 20 October 2013
Devonport Regional Art Gallery: 1 November – 8 December 2013
Rockhampton Art Gallery: 7 February – 24 March 2014
Emerge Media Space, James Cook University: 21 April – 12 May 2014
ANU Drill Hall Gallery: 22 May – 29 June 2014
Wollongong City Gallery: 11 July – 31 August 2014

Patricia Piccinini Sandman 2002

Patricia Piccinini, Sandman, 2002, Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2007, image courtesy and © the artist

South of no North: Laurence Aberhart, William Eggleston, Noel McKenna

South of no North: Laurence Aberhart, William Eggleston, Noel McKenna presented three artists whose works are connected by an interest in the vernacular, a regional sense of place and a similar visual sensibility.

Australian artist Noel McKenna has lived and worked in Sydney since moving from Brisbane in 1981. He has chronicled the city and its people whilst travelling extensively, particularly in New Zealand and Europe. McKenna’s paintings and ceramics were shown alongside work by two photographers. The influential American photographer William Eggleston who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee, and works exclusively with colour photography. Laurence Aberhart who resides in Russell on the North Island of New Zealand and works predominantly with black and white photography. He has photographed environments in NZ and Australia, Hong Kong, France, Antarctica and the USA.

All three artists have a common literary sensibility that captures details of the built environment and human interactions that have their own particular pathos. They tend to work on a small scale and their works provide a window onto the world where you really have to look. Visitors were drawn in rather than overwhelmed, peering into places and moments now past.

Their artworks were akin to short stories where emotions and narratives are condensed into rich and provocative sensations reflecting the everyday world and making manifest the power of art to alert us to the wonder and poetry that is all around us.

Tour Itinerary

Artspace Mackay: 5 July – 25 August 2013
City Gallery Wellington: 14 December 2013 – 9 March 2014

Noel McKenna, Big Pineapple, Gympie, Queensland, 2003, enamel on board
60 × 70cm, private collection, Melbourne, image courtesy and © the artist

Publication available from the MCA store
Essays by Glenn Barkley and Noel McKenna

Craig Walsh: Digital Odyssey

Craig Walsh is renowned for his large-scale computer-manipulated imagery projected onto existing environments and public spaces, from buildings and trees to watercourses and shopping malls. By working closely with each community and responding creatively to local history, stories and interests, Walsh’s artworks become sites of community connection and shared identity. Craig Walsh: Digital Odyssey was both a Museum of Contemporary Art Touring Project and residency with Australian artist Craig Walsh.

Travelling in a mobile home, and living and working for extended periods in rural and remote communities across the country, Walsh created site-specific artworks that were both innovative and captivating. Craig Walsh: Digital Odyssey gave people living in rural areas an opportunity to experience his distinctive public artworks in locations and sites unique for their natural beauty, cultural and historical significance.

Craig Walsh: Digital Odyssey was supported by the Contemporary Touring Initiative through Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, and by the Australia Council, the Australia Governments arts funding and advisory body, through the Visual Arts Board.

Financial Assistance was received through Arts Queensland from the art+place Queensland Government Public Art Fund, endorsed by the Queensland Art Gallery, and the Australian Government through Country Arts South Australia.
The tour was documented online here

Tour Itinerary

Murray Bridge, SA: 1 February – 11 April 2010
Alice Springs, NT: 26 April – 16 May 2010
Winton, QLD: 31 May – 20 June 2010
Cairns, QLD: 28 June – 18 July 2010
Mackay, QLD: 16 August – 12 September 2010
Gladstone, QLD: 20 September – 10 October 2010
Gerringong, NSW: 1 – 30 November 2010
Ballarat, VIC: 6 December 2010 – January 2011
Hobart, TAS: 10 March – 3 April 2011
Alice Springs, NT: 29 April – 1 May 2011
Armidale, NSW: 1 July – 2 July 2011

Craig Walsh Humanature (projection of Murray Bridge resident Jacqui Merckenschlager), 2010, single-channel digital projection, installation view, Craig Walsh: Digital Odyssey, 2010, Sturt Reserve Murray Bridge, South Australia, image courtesy and © the artist, photograph: Mick Bradley.

Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO

Almanac was an exhibition that provided an extraordinary road map of Australian art practice over the last 50 years, shaped by the vision of one of Australia’s most regarded collectors and arts supporters, Ann Lewis AO. Ann Lewis worked tirelessly throughout her lifetime to raise the profile of Australian artists abroad, and to bring international artists to local audiences. Her role as collector, philanthropist and gallerist led to the development of a collection built at the forefront of cultural production and mirrors the deeply personal relationships Ann Lewis enjoyed with a diverse array of artists. Tracing changes in taste, influence, styles and ideas, Almanac reflects a collection with depth and currency. Veering across time and location, it is comprised of paintings, photographs sculptures, ceramics and prints including several works which are on public display for the first time.

Artists featured in the exhibition were: Hany Armanious, Ralph Balson, Curley Barduguba, Ian Burns, Robert Ambrose Cole, Timothy Cook, Richard Dunn, Mikala Dwyer, John Firth-Smith, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Rosalie Gascoigne, Callum Innes, Kitty Kantilla, Robert Klippel, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Ildiko Kovacs, Rosemary Laing, Jon Lewis, Marrirra Marawili, George Milwulurrurr, Rosella Namok, Dorothy Napangardi, Jimmy Ngalakurn, Bobby Barrdjaray Nganmirra, Robert Owen, Gloria Petyarre, Robert Rauschenberg, Neil Roberts, Lola Ryan, Ricky Swallow, Walala Tjapaltjarri, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Wukun Gathinikpa Wanambi, Judy Watson, Louise Weaver, Timothy Wulanjbirr and Anne Zahalka.

The exhibition was supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government Program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of cultural material across Australia.

Richard Dunn

Richard Dunn, 1919, 1991, Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of Ann Lewis AO, 2009, Image courtesy and © the artist

Simryn Gill: Gathering

The work of Simryn Gill considered questions of place and history, and how they might intersect with personal and collective experience. Using objects, language, and photographs, her work conveyed a deep interest in material culture, and in the ways that meaning can transform and translate into different contexts. Through the reinterpretation or alteration of existing objects, the photographing of specific locations, and the forming of collections, Gill contemplated how ideas and meanings are communicated between, people, objects, and sites.

Tour Itinerary

Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art
7 August – 30 October 2009

Heide Museum of Modern Art
19 April – 19 July 2010

Queensland Art Gallery/GoMA
27 August – 11 October 2010

Artspace Mackay
5 November 2010 – 9 January 2011

Simryn Gill, Paper boats (detail) 2008 , image courtesy of the artist and BREENSPACE, Sydney © the artist

Yinka Shonibare

British-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (b.1962) works across diverse artistic media to explore ideas about African contemporary identity and the legacy of European colonialism in the present. Shonibare’s art considers social class and aesthetics, and is characterised by the use of recurring visual symbols such as ‘Dutch wax’ fabric since the mid 1990s. Yinka Shonibare MBE presented twelve years of the artist’s career, encompassing painting, sculpture, large-scale mixed media installations, photography and film.

Tour Itinerary

Auckland Art Gallery
28 February – 1 June 2009

Brooklyn Museum
26 June – 20 September 2009

The Smithsonian, National Museum of African Art
11 November 2009 – 7 March 2010

Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) (still) 2004, image courtesy the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and James Cohan Gallery, New York © the artist

Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro are Australian artists who transform the residue of consumer society, re-imagining the forms and systems that surround us. Interrogating ideas of home, aspiration, mobility and the acquisition of material goods, their work is characterised by a playful reinvention of prefabricated structures and the assemblage of everyday objects into extraordinary sculptures and installations. Healy and Cordeiro’s first museum survey, this exhibition brought together a selection of key works from the past 10 years. Demonstrating the depth and diversity of their practice, it comprises both monumental and intimate pieces in a variety of media including sculpture, installation and photography.

Tour Itinerary

University of Queensland Art Museum
6 April – 28 July 2013

installation view

Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012, image courtesy and © the artists

Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

Publication available from the MCA store