Australasia's international art fair, Sydney Contemporary, announced it will present a new, experiential digital initiative designed to support the arts community and respond to the issues resulting from Covid-19. Running from 1 until 31 October 2020, Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020, is a month-long project inviting viewers to engage with more than 450 new artworks created by over 380 artists during 2020, some of which respond to the events of the year.
Tim Etchells, Founder of Sydney Contemporary, said: "2020 has been an extraordinary year on many levels. We believe it is important – now more than ever – to support artists and the arts community and have created this new digital initiative specifically to do so. Whilst we are disappointed not to hold a physical fair this year, we believe Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020 will give people a positive takeaway from what has been a challenging year."
Barry Keldoulis, Fair Director of Sydney Contemporary, said: "Sydney Contemporary represents the largest concentration of art sales each year, so without the physical fair this year, the organisation wanted to do something that would stimulate sales and support artists and their galleries.
"Our custom-made platform creates a place for seasoned collectors and emerging art lovers alike to explore and buy new work by exciting contemporary artists. We encourage people to support the visual arts community in the most direct way possible – by purchasing the work of artists. It is a chance to acquire not just an artwork but a memory, something to look upon that was created during this unforgettable year," added Keldoulis.
Sydney Contemporary presents 2020 will take visitors on a distinctly different, artist-led journey of discovery where the user is encouraged to create a pathway to find the perfect artwork for them from the hundreds of newly created works by leading Australian and international artists, including Daniel Agdag, Zico Albaiquni, Jan Albers, Brook Andrew, Atong Atem, Juan Davila, Juz Kitson, Lindy Lee, Oh Seung Yul, Ben Quilty, Lisa Reihana, Guan Wei and many more.
The platform will launch on 1 October 2020 with more than 450 works, with new artworks to be added each week throughout its month-long presentation in October.
Spanning painting, drawing, photography, video, mixed-media, virtual reality and sculpture, these new works have been created during a turbulent year and explore the range of experiences that individuals have encountered. In many cases artworks were created during lockdowns with limited access to studios and materials. Using this time to reflect and create new works, the artists participating in Sydney Contemporary presents 2020 offer insights into this unusual time and highlight the resilience of the art community.
Selected artist highlights include:
• New works by leading Australian artists Brook Andrew, Andrew Browne, Amos Gebhardt and Ben Quilty presented by Tolarno Galleries;
• Five New Zealand artists presented by PAULNACHE, two of whom - Matthew Couper and JK Russ - are based in Las Vegas, USA;
• Works created during lockdown by Indigenous artist John Prince Siddon at EG Projects X Mangkala Arts; and
• An all-female line-up at Sydney-based Sarah Cottier Gallery including works by Julie Fragar, Sarah Mosca, Elizabeth Pulie and Jelena Telecki.
Sydney Contemporary engaged artist Abdul Abdullah to conceive a logo specifically for the initiative. Abdullah will also present new work on the platform through Singapore and Sydney-based Yavuz Gallery that responds to 2020: "It has been a strange time for everyone, and artists are no exception. I think we've all had a chance for self-reflection, and I think the uncertainty will forge new creative pathways going forward."
The presentation will be available via a new website www.sydneycontemporarypresents.com.au
Sydney Contemporary will return to Carriageworks in 2021.