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Art of This World: The MCA Collection

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


22 Jun 1993 to 31 Oct 1993


John Armstrong, Enrico Baj, Robert Betchle, Joseph Beuys & Charles Wilp, Jean-Charles Blais, Brian Blanchflower, Peter Booth, Janet Burchill, Patrick Caulfield, Christo, Aleks Danko, Juan Davila, Bruno di Bello, Jim Dine, Eugenio Dittborn, Piero Dorazio, Richard Dunn, John Dutruc, Wolfgang Ernst, Sergio Fergola, Rosalie Gascoigne, Alan Green, Richard Hamilton, Allen Jones, Edward Keinholz, RB Kitaj, Barbara Kruger, Werner Krüger, Ted Kurahara, Edwina Leapman, Lindy Lee, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert MacPherson, Mary Ellen Mark, Tracey Moffatt, Henry Moore, Grant Mudford, John Nixon, Sidney Nolan & Elwyn Lynn, Robin Page, Peter Phillips, John W. Power, Harvey Quaytman, Robert Rauschenberg, Sweeney Reed, Bridget Riley, Julie Rrap, Ed Ruscha, David Salle, Sean Scully, Cindy Sherman, Norman Stevens, Annelies Strba, Michael Taylor, Joe Tilson, Andy Warhol, Jenny Watson, Boyd Webb, Susan Weil, Günter Weseler, Stefan Wewerka, Ken Whisson, William Yang, Fumio Yoshimura


Nicholas Baume, Sue Cramer, Linda Michael

about the exhibition

Art of this World was a major presentation of the MCA Collection, incorporating international and Australian works belonging to the J.W. Power Collection. The exhibition was organised into several thematic groupings: Personal Fictions; Languages of Abstraction; Six Australian Artists; Role Models; Descent of the Surrealist Image; and Art and Culture, Prints of the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition aimed to present to the Australian public an overview of international contemporary art through the works acquired by the Power Bequest and the MCA.

The J.W. Power Collection was established through the Power Bequest to the University of Sydney and consists of approximately 3000 works acquired between 1967 and 1989 by curators of the Power Institute of the University of Sydney. The late John Joseph Wardell Power (1881-1943), was a medical graduate of the University of Sydney, an expatriate artist and collector who lived and worked in Europe until his death.

John Power was a visionary benefactor, and bequeathed to the University of Sydney funds '...to make available to the people of Australia the latest ideas and theories…of the most recent contemporary art of the world and by creation of schools, lecture halls, museums and other places for the purpose…of suitably housing the works purchased so as to bring the people of Australia in more direct touch with the latest art developments in other countries..’

The J.W. Power Collection features works by Australian and international artists including kinetic work from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Op Art, Pop Art, Minimalist works, and performance pieces. It also includes over a thousand paintings, oil sketches and drawings by John Power himself.