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Power Works: From the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


26 May 1995 to 03 Dec 1995


Sandro Chia, Peter Cripps, Juan Davila, Eugenio Dittborn, Katharina Fritsch, Gilbert & George, Keith Haring, Richard Kileen, Barbara Kruger, Robert Longo, David Daymirringu Malangi, Tracey Moffatt, John Nixon, Mike Parr, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Imants Tillers, Peter Tyndall, Jenny Watson, Boyd Webb

Guest Curator:

Robert Leonard

about the exhibition

Power Works was selected by New Zealand curator Robert Leonard and comprised works from the 1980s by Australian and international artists. Rather than seeking to impose a theme, Leonard selected key works from the MCA Collection allowing commonalities to naturally emerge.

The title of the exhibition was chosen in part as a tribute to John Power, the artist and medical practitioner whose generous bequest initiated the MCA Collection. It also referred to an emphasis in the exhibition on systems of power: many works questioned sexual and political dogmas, or recast the authority of dominant histories. The title also had an ironic meaning. While the exhibition contained a number of very large and spectacular works, it also included multiples and a display of postcard works by Peter Tyndall, demonstrating that significant art works need not be heroic in scale.

This exhibition was supported by a grant from the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

Tour Itinerary

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ: 19 February – 15 May 1994
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Taranaki, NZ: 9 July – 28 August 1994
Waikato Museum of Art and History, NZ: 10 September – 4 December 1994
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, NZ: 1 January – 31 March 1995