Left to right: Rembrandt, Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul 1661, Collection Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, De Bruijn-van der Leeuw Bequest, Muri, Switzerland and Johannes Vermeer, Woman reading a letter 1663, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest)
Credit: Courtesy of AGNSW

Next year’s blockbuster art exhibitions have been announced, and taken together they herald the arrival of two major exhibition firsts – albeit from entirely opposite ends of the spectrum of visual art. On the eve of the current season of openings, the 2017-2018 Sydney International Art Series will stage two inspired shows, Pipilotti Rist at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Contemporary artist Pipilotti Rist’s immersive multi-screen video installations will once more return to the MCA after her original commission for the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, Mercy Garden Retour Skin (2014), made its presence so keenly felt both in person and across Instagram. The Swiss artist, to whom Beyoncé owes a great debt for her Hold Up video concept, will no doubt find favour with Australian audiences once again through her otherworldly experimentations with the medium of video.

Another first for the AGNSW will take form in Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, the first exhibition of its kind devoted to celebrating the work of the 17th century masters. Only months after the world exclusive Van Gogh and the Seasons closes at the National Gallery of Victoria, audiences pining for a double dose of Dutch art will relish the opportunity to see outstanding pieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Hals, Steen, Dou, Lievens and Leyster drawn from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – the national collection of the Netherlands.

The two exhibitions will no doubt prove to be drawcard events for both institutions over the summer months if the last two Sydney International Art Series exhibitions – Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry to the MCA, and Pop Art and masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland at AGNSW – are any indication.

This year’s exhibitions, Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect With Everything at the MCA and Nude: Art from the Tate Collection at AGNSW will open November 3 and 5 respectively.

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum and Pipilotti Rist at the MCA will show as Part of 2017-18 Sydney International Art Series, November 11, 2017 – February 18, 2018

Tile image: Courtesy of AGNSW
Cover image: Pipilotti Rist, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems/AT, 2015, photo by Lisa Rastl via Instagram