Sydney International Art Series returns featuring celebrated artists

From the vibrant paintings of Henri Matisse to the immersive installations of Doug Aitken, the Sydney International Art Series (SIAS) will make a grand return in 2021.

11 December 2020

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said it was fantastic news for Sydney as the SIAS had always been a big drawcard for visitors.

“Since its inception in 2010, the Sydney International Art Series has generated more than $167 million in overnight visitor expenditure for the state and attracted more than 2.5 million attendees, with over 229,000 overnight visitors coming specifically to Sydney to view the exhibitions,” Mr Ayres said.

“While this year’s series was cancelled due to COVID-19, we are delighted it will be returning with two exceptional exhibitions: Doug Aitken: New Era at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and Matisse: Life and Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

“Securing these coveted exhibitions reaffirms the NSW Government’s commitment to delivering world-class events for our state which play an important role in encouraging people to visit Sydney and growing the NSW visitor economy.”

The SIAS was created in 2010 by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Art Gallery of New South Wales, to bring the world’s most outstanding exhibitions exclusively to Sydney.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the SIAS 2021-22 offered visitors the unique opportunity to appreciate the works of two very different, but significant artists.

“These exhibitions are standout shows in their own right, and together, they present an unmissable experience in Sydney,” Mr Harwin said.

“This will be the first Australian exhibition of leading contemporary artist Doug Aitken, who is known for his sensory and immersive installations. Meantime, Matisse: Life and Spirit will feature more than 100 works by late French artist Henri Matisse, direct to Sydney from the renowned Centre Pompidou in Paris.”

Visitors can see Doug Aitken: New Era at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia from 24 September 2021, and Matisse: Life and Spirit at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 20 November 2021. Tickets will be available to purchase in 2021.