Kaldor Public Art Projects

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Kaldor Public Art Projects
Motto Art projects that inspire generations
Formation 1969; 48 years ago (1969)
Founder John Kaldor AO
Legal status Charity; Australian Government Register of Cultural Organisations
Headquarters Sydney, New South Wales
Fields Visual arts; installations
John Kaldor AO
Liz Cacciottolo, Craig Holland, Bettina Kaldor, Evan Kaldor, John Kaldor, Julian Knights, Mark Nelson, Michael Snelling
Staff (2016)
Website kaldorartprojects.org.au

Kaldor Public Art Projects is an Australian arts organisation established in 1969 by John Kaldor AO. The organisation collaborates with groundbreaking international artists to create innovative, site-specific projects in public spaces. By bringing art to spaces outside of galleries and museums, Kaldor Public Art Projects has changed the landscape of contemporary art in Australia with inspiring projects that bring together art, creativity and education.

The organisation’s first project, in 1969 was Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped Coast, which at the time was the largest single artwork ever made. By 2014, the organisation had brought 29 art projects to Australia, utilizing a variety of public spaces including Cockatoo Island, Old Melbourne Gaol, and Sydney Park Brickworks. Kaldor Public Art Projects has worked with international artists including Gilbert & George, Michael Landy, Jeff Koons, Bill Viola, Thomas Demand, John Baldessari and Tino Sehgal among others.

Kaldor Public Art Projects has been listed on the register of charitable organisations since 2004, and also contributes to the development of Australia’s cultural life through innovative education programs for primary, secondary and tertiary schools, as well as programs for the public.

Project history[edit]

1969 to 1979[edit]

The organisation's first public works were a commissioning by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude who were brought to Sydney and Melbourne in 1969 and displayed Wrapped Coast between 28 October and 14 December 1969 at Little Bay,[1] alongside Drawings and Collages between 22 October and 8 November 1969 at Central Street Gallery; and Wool Works, displayed between 1 and 30 November 1969 at the National Gallery of Victoria.[2]

A 1971 Harald Szeemann curated project involved 23 artists including John Armstrong, Tony Bishop, Robert Boynes, Mike Brown (Melbourne), Gunter Christmann, Tony Coleing, Aleks Danko, Margaret Dodd, Neil Evans, Ross Grounds, Dale Hickey, Tim Johnson, Peter Kennedy, Warren Knight, Nigel Lendon, Ian Milliss, Ti Parks, Mike Parr, William Pidgeon, Brett Whiteley and Tony Wood together with collaborations by Guy Stuart and Alec Tzannes. The project was displayed in Sydney between 29 April and 13 May at the Bonython Gallery; and in Melbourne between 4 June and 4 July at the National Gallery of Victoria.[3]

Exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne in 1973 of Gilbert & George included The Singing Sculpture, The Shrubberies Number 1, and The Shrubberies Number 2, held in Sydney between 16 and 21 August at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; and held in Melbourne between 29 August and 2 September at the National Gallery of Victoria.[4] Also in 1973 were exhibitions by Miralda, entitled Coloured Feast on 18 September in the John Kaldor Fabricmaker showrooms, Sydney, and Coloured Bread between 21 September and 4 October at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

During 1976, exhibition and performance artists Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik were featured as part of the Adelaide Festival between 22 and 26 March 1976 at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Elder Park, Adelaide; and between 1 and 11 April 1976 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Sydney Opera House forecourt.

Exhibitions in 1977 involving the work of Sol LeWitt in Sydney, entitled All two part combinations of arcs from four corners, arcs from four corners, arcs from four sides, straight, not-straight & broken lines in four directions., during March and July, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; and in Melbourne entitled Lines to points on a grid. On yellow: Lines from the center of the wall. On red: Lines from four sides. On blue: Lines from four corners. On black: Lines from four sides, four corners and the centre of the wall during March and April at the National Gallery of Victoria;[5] and a traveling exhibition of the works of Richard Long was held in Broken Hill entitled A straight hundred mile walk in Australia and A line in Australia during December 1977; in Melbourne, entitled Bushwood Circle between 8 December 1977 and 7 January 1978 at the National Gallery of Victoria; and in Sydney, entitled Stone Line, between 15 December 1977 and 5 February 1978 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[6]

1980 to 1999[edit]

A 1984 global exhibition called An Australian Accent featured Australian artists Mike Parr, Imants Tillers, and Ken Unsworth was exhibited in New York between 15 April and 10 June 1984 at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; in Washington D.C between 30 June and 26 August 1984 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; in Perth between 22 September and 11 November 1984 at the Art Gallery of Western Australia; and in Sydney between 1 December 1984 and 31 January 1985 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[7]

Christo and Jeanne-Claude returned to Australia in 1990, exhibiting in Sydney with Wrapped Vestibule and Christo between 12 September and 25 November 1990 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and in Perth with Christo between 2 March and 14 April 1991 at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.[8][9]

Jeff Koons was brought to Sydney to display his 1992 Puppy exhibition between 12 December 1995 and 17 March 1996 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.[10][11]

Sol LeWitt returned to Australia in 1998 with an exhibition entitled Wall Pieces between 30 July and 29 November at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.[12]

In 1999 Vanessa Beecroft's VB40 was exhibited in early August, also at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.[13]

2000 to 2009[edit]

Ugo Rondinone was exhibited in Sydney between 15 June and 31 August 2003 with an exhibition entitled Our Magic Hour at the Museum of Contemporary Art; and in Melbourne, with an exhibition entitled Clockwork for Oracle between 28 January and 7 March 2004 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.[14] The same year Barry McGee was exhibited at the Metropolitan Meat Market, Melbourne with an exhibition entitled The stars were aligned… and at the National Gallery of Victoria with the Water Wall Mural between 28 October and 5 December.[15]

In 2007 an Urs Fischer installation between 20 April and 3 June at Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour attracted significant international attention.[16][17] Gregor Schneider exhibited 21 Beach Cells between 28 September and 21 October 2007 at Bondi Beach and, with the support of Kaldor Public Art Projects, at Accadia Beach in Herzlia, Israel between 13 and 20 June 2009.[18]

A 2008 exhibition involving 17/ Bill Viola and entitled Fire Woman and Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall) between 9 April and 23 May was held at St Saviour’s Church, Redfern.[19] The same year Martin Boyce exhibited We Are Shipwrecked and Landlocked between 22 October and 30 November at the Old Melbourne Gaol.[20]

In 2009, a Tatzu Nishi exhibition entitled War and Peace and In Between was displayed between 2 October 2009 and 14 February 2010 on Art Gallery Road, adjacent to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[21][22]

2010 to present[edit]

Stephen Vitiello was featured in 2010 with an exhibition entitled The Sound of Red Earth, between 13 August and 12 September, held at the Sydney Park Brickworks at St Peters. The same year, Bill Viola returned with Fire Woman, Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall), between 8 and 23 October 2010, in St Carthage’s Church, Melbourne;[19] and The Raft, held between 7 October 2010 and 20 February 2011, at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne. Between 20 and 28 November 2010, the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane featured an exhibition by Santiago Sierra entitled 7 Forms Measuring 600 X 60 X 60 cm. Constructed to be held horizontally to a wall.,

In 2011 a John Baldessari exhibition entitled Your Name in Lights was displayed on the Australian Museum, William Street façade, Sydney as part of the Sydney Festival between 8 and 30 January 2011. The same exhibition was displayed on the Stedelijk Museum, with Holland Festival, Amsterdam between 1 and 26 June 2011. A Michael Landy installation entitled Acts of Kindness was displayed between 23 September and 23 October 2011 in lower Martin Place, Sydney, and across 200 Sydney CBD sites.

A 2012 exhibition by Thomas Demand entitled The Dailies was held between 23 March and 22 April 2012 at Commercial Travellers' Association, MLC Centre, Sydney City, The same year Allora and Calzadilla had an exhibition entitled ' 'Stop, Repair, Prepare...' ' between 16 November and 6 December 2012 at the Cowen Gallery, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.

An exhibition by 13 Rooms entitled Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach was held between 11 and 21 April 2013 at Pier 2/3 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, Sydney. The following year Roman Ondák was featured in an exhibition entitled Measuring the Universe, Swap, and Terrace, between 10 and 24 January 2014 at the Parramatta Town Hall, Sydney. A few weeks later Tino Sehgal exhibited This Is So Contemporary between 6 and 23 February 2014 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

In 2014, to mark the 45th anniversary of Kaldor Art Projects, an open invitation was issued to Australian artists to share Your very good idea that would be subject to review by a panel before a winner was chosen. Sydney-based Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones was selected and, in 2016, installed a large-scale, temporary art project titled barrangal dyara (skin and bones), a re-imagining of the historic Garden palace which stood in the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, in the 19th century.

In 2015 exhibitions were by Marina Abramović and Xavier Le Roy.

Education projects[edit]

MOVE: Video art in schools[edit]

MOVE: Video art in schools was produced in partnership with the New South Wales Department of Education and is a collection of video art works distributed to secondary schools for use in the classroom. Twelve leading Australian artists were commissioned for this program providing an education edition of their work solely for use in schools. The works are supplied on DVD and are packaged together with support materials that provide information on the artists, their works and the context of video art making. Student activities are also included, providing avenues for participation and creative engagement.

MOVE: Video art in schools includes work by Daniel Crooks, Shaun Gladwell, The Kingpins, Todd McMillan, Jess MacNeil, Tracey Moffatt, TV Moore, Patricia Piccinini, David Rosetzky, Grant Stevens, John Tonkin and Daniel von Sturmer.

Provided free of charge to public secondary schools, the resource is now present in all states across Australia, in over 1800 schools, and has been Australia-wide since 2011.

MOVE Primary: Art in Motion[edit]

MOVE Primary: Art in Motion is Kaldor Public Art Project’s first art education project for primary school students throughout Australia, in partnership with the NSW Department of Education and Communities through its NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre.

Drawing on the success of MOVE: Video Art in Schools, this initiative is centred on video work from Shaun Gladwell, Jess MacNeil, Joan Ross, Grant Stevens and Daniel von Sturmer.

MOVE Hospitals[edit]

MOVE: Hospitals was introduced in 2012 in partnership with the Sydney Children’s Hospital Art Program. This educational program introduced digital art to hospital patients and visiting students. This initiative showcases digital work from artists such as Todd Fuller and Joan Ross.

Public Art: Teaching Excellence[edit]

Based on its new e5 instruction model for quality teaching, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has developed a Kindergarten to Year 6 art education resource based on ‘Public Art’ and, in particular, on the past Kaldor Public Art Projects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Long and Jeff Koons.

The publication features past Kaldor Public Art Projects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Long and Jeff Koons as a way of engaging students with contemporary art practice and in particular to explore ‘public art’. Public Art, Teaching Excellence, the first in a series of publications on professional learning, will be distributed to Victorian schools in 2011.

Art projects education kits[edit]

Produced by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, these Education notes for each Kaldor Public Art Project include the artist biography, project description, a thematic essay and quotes along with suggested issues for discussion and selected references.


  1. ^ Christo; Shunk-Kender (1969). Christo: Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feat. Minneapolis: Contemporary Art Lithographers. 
  2. ^ Christo: Wool Works. John Kaldor Art Project (exhibition catalogue). Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria. 1969. 
  3. ^ Szeemann, Harald (1971). I want to leave a nice well-done child here (exhibition catalogue). Sydney: John Kaldor Art Projects. 
  4. ^ Gilbert & George (1973). George and Gilbert, the living sculptures, London (catalogue for their 1973 Australian visit, artists book). Sydney: John Kaldor Art Projects. 
  5. ^ LeWitt, Sol (1977). Wall drawings (artists book). Sydney: John Kaldor Art Projects. 
  6. ^ Long, Richard (1978). A straight hundred mile walk in Australia: a walk along a line, returning to the same campsite each night (artists book). Sydney: John Kaldor Art Projects. 
  7. ^ Thomas, Daniel, ed. (1984). An Australian Accent. Three artists: Mike Parr, Imants Tillers, Ken Unsworth (exhibition catalogue). Sydney: John Kaldor Art Projects. 
  8. ^ Baume, Nicholas, ed. (1990). Christo: John Kaldor Art Project (exhibition catalogue). Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW. 
  9. ^ Christo: John Kaldor Art Project (education brochure). Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW. 1990. 
  10. ^ Baume, Nicholas (1995). From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor Art Projects & Collection (exhibition catalogue). Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art. 
  11. ^ Baume, Nicholas (1995). Jeff Koons: John Kaldor Art Project (exhibition brochure). Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art. 
  12. ^ Journey to Now: John Kaldor Art Projects and Collection (exhibition catalogue). Sydney: John Kaldor Public Art Projects. 2003. 
  13. ^ VB:40 Vanessa Beecroft. John Kaldor Art Project (exhibition brochure). Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art. 1999. 
  14. ^ Engberg, Julianna (2004). Ugo Rondinone: clockwork for oracle (exhibition catalogue). Melbourne: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. 
  15. ^ Gellatly, Kelly (2004). Barry McGee (exhibition catalogue). Melbourne: Kaldor Public Art Projects. 
  16. ^ Free, Adam (2007). Urs Fischer (exhibition catalogue). Sydney: Kaldor Art Projects. 
  17. ^ Urs Fischer (exhibition brochure). Sydney: Kaldor Public Art Projects. 2007. 
  18. ^ "Gregor Schneider" (exhibition brochure). Sydney: Kaldor Art Projects. 2008. 
  19. ^ a b The Tristan Project (exhibition brochure). Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales. 2008. 
  20. ^ Martin Boyce (exhibition brochure). Melbourne: Kaldor Public Art Projects. 2008. 
  21. ^ Tatzu Nishi: war and peace and in between (exhibition brochure). Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW. 2009. 
  22. ^ Forbat, Sophie, ed. (2009). 40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects. Kaldor Public Art Projects. 

External links[edit]