Current Grants

Art Gallery of NSW

Art Gallery of NSW

Established in 1874, The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) is one of Australia's foremost cultural institutions. It holds significant collections of Australian, European and Asian art, and presents nearly forty exhibitions annually.

Prior to establishing the Balnaves Foundation in 2006, Neil Balnaves was a benefactor to the AGNSW for many years. In 2003 he provided funding for a five-year programme of exhibitions and acquisitions to present contemporary and historical sculpture by Australian and international artists. It included artists such as Robert Owen, James Angus, Wolfgang Laib and the first major retrospective exhibition of Bertram Mackennal’s work.

The Foundation has also funded a project to comprehensively document every significant Australian sculpture from 1960 – 2000 in order to create an archive of Australian Sculpture. It will contain information on each sculpture including photos, interviews with the artist, and basic facts about the work and the artist. The aim is to create a permanent record so the history of these works is not lost. 

In 2009, The Balnaves Foundation partnered with AGNSW to present a biennial project named ‘Balnaves Contemporary’. The Foundation’s desire is to give Australia’s young and mid-career artists the opportunity to present their latest works to a broad audience in a major gallery. There were two exhibitions in the series, all focusing on Australian art. The first in 2010 titled Wilderness brought together 14 of Australia’s best young and mid-career contemporary painters, including Del Kathryn Barton, Daniel Boyd, Tony Clark, Louise Hearman, Mary Scott, Fiona Lowry and Michael Zavros. The Second "We Used to Talk About Love' took the View on a spatial and emotional journey through love's language, from beginning to end. It included artists such as Polly Borland, Angelica Mesiti, David Noonan, Tim Silver and Grant Stevens.

The Balnaves along with other leading Sydney arts philanthropists have funded The Edmund Capon Fellowship to honour former Director, Edmund Capon for his 33 services. The fellowship will facilitate an exchange of staff between this Gallery and museums in Asia in key areas such as curatorial work, research, conservation, public programs, education and exhibition management. It will build on the legacy of Edmund Capon, who was the first art museum director in Australia with expertise in the field of Asian Art.

More recently, The Balnaves Foundation has provided funding for The Balnaves Foundation Australian Sculpture Archive. The Balnaves Foundation Australian Sculpture Archive at the Art Gallery of NSW was established in 2010 through a grant for the acquisition of the archives of major Australian sculptors. The grant also provided for a range of living sculptors to be interviewed and for the transcripts of these interviews to form an important part of the archive. This is an ongoing project, and The Foundation has committed funding until 2017.

 For more information on the AGNSW visit:

Photo Gallery
Rapture (silent anthem) 2009
Milk seeped in bread and rocked the leg 2012-13
19 months #1 from Untitled 2010
Video and Audio Gallery

Title : Reflecting our interest in Asia - The Australian

Aug 22, 2013

 The Art Gallery of NSW announces the Edmund Capon Fellowship, named after the former Director.

Title : We Used To Talk About Love - article and video - ABC

Feb 19, 2013

Natasha Bullock walks throught the We Used To Talk About Love exhibition with Lawrence Champness from ABC

Title : Body double consigned to a watery grave - The Australian

Feb 6, 2013

We Used to Talk About Love comprises a range of artworks from contemporary artists including Polly Borland and Paul Knight.

Title : Love's labours found in journey through feelings - Daily Telegraph

Jan 30, 2013

The latest Balnaves contemporary exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW We used to talk about love opens this week.

Title : An artist's lexicon of love, warts and all - SMH

Jan 23, 2013

Polly Borland exposes an emotional subject in her photographs, writes Andrew Taylor.

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