Abundant inspiration in Art Gallery of South Australia’s 2024 exhibition program

Grayson Perry Morris Gainsborough Turner Riley 2021Presenting a rich tapestry of timeless classics that will transport you back in time alongside contemporary and creative voices of artists today, The Adelaide Biennial, Brent Harris: Surrender & Catch, Reimagining the Renaissance and Radical Textiles, are highlights of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s 2024 exhibition program.

“Breathtaking works of art, and unique collaborations, AGSA’s 2024 exhibition program draws deeply from our own collection – a rare and enriching resource that can inspire and transport us,” said Rhana Devenport ONZM, Director AGSA.

The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum (1 March to 2 June) offers an intimate encounter with artists, poets and makers interested in the human condition. The Biennial unfolds across the exhibition, performances and events that explore our engagement with the world and each other. Here the idea of an inner sanctum illustrates the private or sacred spaces we create and the faculty of imagination that allows us to see culture and society differently.

Curated by José Da Silva, the 2024 Adelaide Biennial offers a snapshot of contemporary Australia that is reflective and hopeful. It provides a setting where art and poetry enliven the social imagination and help us understand the complexities of the human experience.

“The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art remains the pre-eminent and longest-running survey of contemporary Australian art,” said Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP. “As a vital component and highlight of the Adelaide Festival since 1990, the Adelaide Biennial this year builds on its reputation and commitment to supporting and celebrating innovative and ambitious practices.”

The work of Aotearoa-born Australian artist Brent Harris will feature in the survey exhibition Surrender & Catch: The Art of Brent Harris, where it will open this year at TarraWarra Museum of Art in December, before opening in an expanded form at AGSA from 6 July 2024..

Surrender & Catch showcases AGSA’s significant collection of Harris’s work, including the important gift of works by James Mollison AO and Vincent Langford alongside loans from public and private collections. The exhibition charts a journey of experimentation and self-discovery, revealing the cross-pollination of imagery and the development of forms in his printmaking, drawing and painting practice.

“Brent Harris is an artist unafraid of revealing human fallibility – and the process of ‘becoming’ through art – as he maps psychological space through his experimentations with painting and a wealth of virtuosic printmaking techniques,” says Devenport.

One of the year’s major exhibitions will transport you to different lands and back through time. Reimagining the Renaissance (14 July 2024 – 13 April 2025) draws from AGSA’s important collection of painting, sculpture, works on paper and decorative arts, alongside key loans from public and private collections.

This exhibition will explore Northern and English Renaissance art together with that of the celebrated Italian masters to recontextualise these works within a broader art historical tradition and their continuing significance today.

From William Morris to Sonia Delaunay, Radical Textiles (20 November 2024 – March 2025) celebrates the cutting- edge innovations, enduring traditions and bodies of shared knowledge that have been folded into fabric and cloth over the past 150 years.

Showcasing the work of more than100 makers, artists, designers and activists, this major exhibition draws on AGSA’s international, Australian and First Nations collections of textiles and fashion, augmented by sculpture, painting, photography and the moving image.

“The tantalising exhibition Radical Textiles unpicks social and political threads of revolution and innovation, protest and hope, interlaced in international and Australian fashion, textiles and experimental art practice over 150 years,” says Devenport.

“AGSA’s annual exhibition programming demonstrates why AGSA is leading the way in amplifying the voices of artists on an international platform,” said Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP. “AGSA is one of our state’s most loved and visited destinations and its eclectic program of exhibitions is a key to Adelaide’s growing reputation as the coolest city in the world.”

Continuing exhibitions include Tarnanthi – the largest contemporary festival of art from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists which includes the first survey exhibition of wry portraitist Vincent Namatjira: Australia in Colour. Don’t miss Vincent’s exhibition at AGSA which closes on 21 January before it tours to the National Gallery of Australia. Misty Mountain, Shining Moon explores Japanese landscapes in exquisite works of art from the sixteenth century to the present day and closes on 1 April.

In August to celebrate the South Australian Living Artist Festival, AGSA celebrates Adelaide artist Julia Robinson. As the SALA focus artist for 2024, Robinson draws on European folklore, mythology and gothic ritual, often focusing on the macabre or taboo elements of these histories in her inspired manipulations of textiles and sculptural form.

Guildhouse Fellow Tom Phillips will present a selection of new works as part of the annual Guildhouse Fellowship. Through the support of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, Phillips’ figurative paintings highlight issues of social justice, evoking the tension between power and powerlessness by capturing everyday human struggles of loneliness, alienation, vulnerability and hardship.

For more information about Art Gallery of South Australia’s exhibition program, visit: www.agsa.sa.gov.au for details.

Image: Grayson Perry, artist, born Essex, England 1960, Morris, Gainsborough, Turner, Riley, 2021, London; Flanders, Belgium. Acrylic, cotton, merino wool, viscose, polyester, 274.0 x 360.0 cm; © Grayson Perry, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro