Museum of Contemporary Art Australia announces 2024 Exhibition Program

BoS 2024 Anne Samat Never Walk In Anyone's Shadow 2023 photo by Brian HolcombeThe Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA Australia) has announced its 2024 exhibition program. MCA Australia’s exhibition program for 2024 delivers a dynamic year of contemporary art and ideas with national and international firsts, new commissions and fresh approaches to exhibition-making that go beyond the Museum walls.

Highlights include a major survey by Australian artist Nicholas Mangan, the largest exhibition to date by acclaimed Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, new work by Australian feminist artist Julie Rrap and a powerful multi-screen film installation by British artist Isaac Julien.

There will be new commissions by Kurdish-Iraqi-Swedish-American artist Hayv Kahraman and Aotearoa New Zealand artist Kate Newby, and a Mount Druitt street installation by Aotearoa New Zealand-Samoan provocateur Greg Semu.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture are central to the program, along with increased opportunities for Australian artists to realise new work and exhibit across Australia.

“In 2024, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia will host some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today,” said MCA Australia Director, Suzanne Cotter.

“This is an extraordinarily thought provoking and idea-rich program of exhibitions, commissions and special projects by artists from Australia and around the world for our broad and diverse public, here in Sydney, on Tallawoladah a site of culture and stories for over 65,000 years.”

“In 2024 we welcome our 20 millionth visitor to the MCA and celebrate MCA Australia’s role in making contemporary art and ideas accessible to all Australians,” said Ms Cotter.

The 2024 exhibition program commences with the 24th Biennale of Sydney: Ten Thousand Suns, 9 March – 10 June. Under the artistic direction of Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero, Ten Thousand Suns, proposes celebration as a method and a source of joy, inspired by legacies of collective resistance and coming together to thrive in the face of injustice.

The exhibition draws from multiple histories, voices and perspectives, to explore connected thematic threads, from the celebration of First Nations technologies and knowledges, the history of Islam in Australia, to Queer resilience, and the international expression of carnival.

MCA Australia will present the work of 15 artists and collectives including Serwah Attafuah (Ashanti, Australia), Robert Campbell Jnr (Ngaku / Dunghutti, Australia), Doreen Chapman (Manyjilyjarra, Australia), Irene Chou (China / Australia), Juan Davila (Chile / Australia), Kirtika Kain (India / Australia), Freddy Mamani (The Plurinational State of Bolivia), Tracey Moffatt (Australia), Frank Moore (US), Sergey Parajanov (Armenia / Georgia), Segar Passi (Meriam Mir / Dauareb, Torres Strait Islands, Australia), Anne Samat (Malaysia / US), William Strutt (United Kingdom) and Te Wha a Huna (Tuwharetoa, Aotearoa New Zealand).

As part of the Biennale of Sydney, the Museum will unveil a new Circular Quay Foyer Wall Commission by artist Hayv Kahraman (Iraq / Sweden / US). Kahraman is the first international artist to be part of the MCA Foyer Wall Commission Series. Informed by the artist’s Iraqi-Kurdish heritage, her experience as a refugee and her research into Australia’s immigration policy, Kahraman’s new work draws parallels between water, migration and traditional Turkish art forms.

In April 2024, the Museum inaugurates a major survey by Australian artist Nicholas Mangan: A World Undone, 5 April – 30 June. Curated by MCA Australia’s Anneke Jaspers and Anna Davis, the exhibition charts the evolution of Mangan’s expanded sculptural practice over two decades, culminating with his latest project Core-Coralations (2021 – ongoing), inspired by the history and health of the Great Barrier Reef.

In May 2024, MCA Australia presents the next iteration of MCA Collection: Artists in Focus. This new set of displays will highlight significant artists in the MCA Collection, including Brook Andrew, Maree Clarke, Fiona Hall, James Nguyen and Esme Timbery.

Works by Joan Brassil, Kevin Gilbert, Jumaadi, Leyla Stevens and the Arnott’s Biscuits Collection, which showcases the work of Aboriginal artists from the communities of Groote Eylandt, Yirrkala, Galiwin’ku, Milingimbi, Maningrida, Ramingining, Gunbalanya, Wadeye and the Tiwi Islands, will remain on display.

Julie Rrap: Past Continuous, 28 June 2024 – 16 February 2025, features Rrap’s iconic installation, Disclosures: A Photographic Construct (1982), a landmark feminist work in the history of Australian art, now part of the MCA Collection, in dialogue with new and recent works drawing on the artist’s present-day body, 42 years older. Rrap’s monumental photographic work offers a witty and poignant reflection on how the female body has been viewed in art and popular culture over time.

From August, MCA Australia will present its ticketed winter exhibitionHiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine2 August – 27 October. Featuring over 100 works, this major retrospective of the internationally renowned photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, spans his 50-year career and highlights the artist’s philosophical yet playful inquiry into our understanding of time and memory. The exhibition is organised by the Hayward Gallery, London in association with MCA Australia and supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.

In Spring, Isaac Julien, one of Britain’s most critically acclaimed artists and filmmakers, presents his latest powerful multi-channel film work Once Again… (Statues Never Die) (2022), in MCA Australia’s Macgregor Gallery. This immersive, five-screen installation filmed in the famous Barnes Collection in Philadelphia, imagines a conversation between American art collector Albert C. Barnes and philosopher-critic Alain Locke, known as the ‘Father of the Harlem Renaissance’ to consider African art and its place in global art histories.

Spring also sees the return of MCA Australia’s annual exhibition Primavera: Young Australian Artists dedicated to the work of early-career Australian artists under the age of 35. This year’s edition is curated by MCA Curator Lucy Latella.

In September, Kate Newby will present new works for the 2024 Loti Smorgon Sculpture Terrace Commission.  These works will be developed in direct response to the site of the Museum on Sydney Harbour at Tallawoladah.

Born in 1979 in Auckland,  Aotearoa New Zealand and currently based in Texas, US, Newby is known for her poetic sculptures made from materials including glass and ceramics, as well as site-specific works and architectural interventions. Attentive to light, wind and other weather conditions, Newby’s works often blur distinctions between public and private, and interior and exterior space.

MCA Australia will announce a 2024-25 international major summer exhibition later this year by a renowned international artist.

For more information about the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA Australia), visit: for details.

Image: Anne Samat, Never Walk In Anyone’s Shadow, 2023 Rattan sticks, kitchen and garden utensils, beads, ceramic, metal and plastic ornaments, 365.75 x 731.5 x 25.5 cm Photography: Brian Holcombe. Courtesy of the artist and Marc Straus, New York