The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Tate and Qantas have revealed the fourth round of artworks in the International Joint Acquisitions Programme for contemporary Australian art. Three new artworks have been jointly acquired into the MCA and Tate Collections, with funds supported by Qantas, giving Australian artists more visibility around the world.
The three new works acquired include a large-scale ochre painting, The Leap/Watershed (2017) by Aboriginal artist Dale Harding; an historically significant early white abstract painting, Untitled (1968) by Robert Hunter; and a large-scale installation incorporating found and domestic materials and a video projection, Santa was a Psychopomp (2014) by Justene Williams. All three works are on display at the MCA in Sydney.
Since the International Joint Acquisitions Programme was launched in 2015, the initiative has allowed the MCA and Tate to acquire 23 works by 16 leading contemporary Australian artists. Several of these works have already been on display in the collections galleries at both institutions. Works by pioneering Australian artists such as Gordon Bennett, Susan Norrie and Juan Davila have travelled to the UK to be shown in Tate’s galleries, with further plans underway to show works by Ian Burn in 2020 and Richard Bell in 2021.
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, commented: “This kind of collecting is of critical importance to the Museum as we seek to ensure that our collection continues to grow and Australian art is seen on a global scale. It is extremely important to place Australian artists in an international context and have their work held in such significant collections.”
Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate, said: “We are very excited to welcome these three artists into Tate’s collection for the first time, joining the many others whose work we have acquired jointly with the MCA through the support of Qantas. This programme is part of a long-term transformative change here at Tate, collaborating with colleagues around the world to deepen our understanding of international contemporary art and tell new transnational art histories.”
Qantas Chief Customer Officer Vanessa Hudson said the airline’s partnership with the MCA and Tate provides global exposure for Australian artists.
“It’s part of our role as the national carrier to champion the best of Australia and we’re proud to enter a fourth year of partnership with the museums to continue growing awareness of Australian art on the global stage,” said Ms Hudson.
Made possible through a $2.75 million corporate gift from the Qantas Foundation, this ground-breaking collaboration is enabling an ambitious five-year joint programme through which a range of major artworks by contemporary Australian artists will be acquired for the collections of MCA and Tate, co-owned and on display at the MCA in Sydney
The International Joint Acquisitions Programme for contemporary Australian art is now in its fourth year of the five-year program.
Image credit: Justene Williams Santa was a Psychopomp (still), 2014. Museum of Contemporary Art and Tate, purchased jointly with funds provided by the Qantas Foundation 2019, image courtesy and (c) the artist