Sydney Modern opens with a flourish

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Contemporary off the boat, new governor Lord Carrington had barely been in a drought-stricken Sydney per week when, on the afternoon of December 23, 1885, in entrance of the fledgling colony’s movers and shakers – principally male pastoralists, bankers and attorneys – he opened the primary makeshift iteration of the Artwork Gallery of NSW.

Wendy Whiteley at the Sydney Modern opening.

Wendy Whiteley on the Sydney Trendy opening.Credit score:Nikki Quick

Not everybody was impressed with the constructing. One of many gallery’s founding trustees, Sir Alfred Stephen, even admitted on the time it was “undeniably ugly”.

Some 137 years later, as AGNSW director Michael Model surveyed the elegant, $344 million Sydney Trendy wing at Wednesday night time’s opening occasion, “ugly” was not a phrase being bandied about.

As they handed the now-cherished neoclassical sandstone principal gallery in latest days, the likes of billionaire arts philanthropists Gretel Packer, John Kaldor and Anita Belgiorno-Nettis have been clearly happy as they admired the good-looking new temple of contemporary artwork.

They’re amongst 400 Sydney residents who contributed to the $100 million in personal funds raised in direction of its development, courtesy of fellow patron David Gonski’s relentless campaigning. And on Wednesday night time they received to see what their cash – together with taxpayer {dollars} – had helped construct.

Artist Ben Quilty on the black carpet.

Artist Ben Quilty on the black carpet.Credit score:Nikki Quick

Of their wake was a brand new technology of well-heeled Sydney arts patrons, together with Paris Neilson and Clare Ainsworth Herschell, inheritor to pokies tycoon Len Ainsworth.

A few of Australia’s most acclaimed artists joined the celebrations too, together with Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Archibald winner Del Kathryn Barton, the internationally acclaimed Tracey Moffatt and Ben Quilty.

Actors Jessica De Gouw and Krew Boylan mingled with the likes of Penelope Seidler and Ashley Dawson-Damer, as seemingly polar reverse social orbits collided. Tv persona Hamish Blake posed on the black carpet together with his skincare entrepreneur spouse Zoe Foster Blake.

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