AGSA’s new Metamorphosis exhibition brings fresh acquisitions by famous artists to SA

The new “Metamorphosis” display at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) is now open, displaying art from leading Australian and international artists.

In a transformative display titled “Metamorphosis,” the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) has unveiled its latest acquisitions by leading Australian and international artists. The exhibit, now open to the public, showcases a diverse range of artworks, from sculpture and ceramics to painting and installation.

Dr. Lisa Slade, Assistant Director of Artistic Programs at AGSA, describes the exhibit as a reflection of art’s capacity for transformation, aligning with the themes of new beginnings in the new year. The exhibit space itself has also undergone a transformation, featuring fresh colours and new collection conversations.

“AGSA is well known for its innovative and thought-provoking collections and we will see that continue in 2024 with Metamorphosis” Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP says.

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP highlights the role of philanthropy in the gallery’s collection development, with acquisitions supported through The James and Diana Ramsay Bequest. “Metamorphosis” serves as a testament to how AGSA acquires, cares for, and shares the state’s collection with both local and international visitors.

The exhibit seamlessly combines the works of Australian artists, including First Nations artists, with their international counterparts. Visitors can explore a wide range of art forms, from functional objects to contemporary statements.

Some of the highlights include the newly acquired “Cloisonné Blue Chair” by Marc Newson, a sculptural and functional masterpiece that sits alongside his iconic LC1 Chaise Longue. Brodie Neill’s “@Chair,” representing modernity and technology, is also featured.

Rodel Tapaya’s “A fairy’s abode,” a contemporary magic realist painting, adds a touch of folklore and religion to the exhibit. It complements John William Waterhouse’s beloved “Circe Invidiosa,” acquired in 1892 with state government support.

A playful and disruptive sculptural work titled “Medium Red and Ruby Mirror Balloon” by Jeppe Hein invites visitors to embrace a sense of wonder and playfulness. On the smaller side, Michael Zavros presents “Onagadori on a Cherry Tree,” an exquisitely detailed painting, and “The Phoenix,” where AGSA’s collection objects take on the shape of the legendary bird.

Additional recent acquisitions include Margaret Sinclair’s bronze sculpture, Sabine Marcelis’s illuminated mirror “Shadow Light, Sand,” Regina Pilawuk Wilson’s ceramic sun mat, and Jonny Niesche’s optical wonder.

A major acquisition, “The Swing” by British artist Chris Ofili, marks AGSA as the first public gallery in Australia to own his work. Purchased through the James and Diana Ramsay Bequest, this piece was part of a series completed by Ofili in Trinidad.

Leigh Robb, AGSA’s Curator of Contemporary Art, emphasises the spirit of curatorial collaboration and the joy in bringing these works together. “Metamorphosis” not only introduces new acquisitions but also welcomes the return of some of AGSA’s most beloved artworks.

“Metamorphosis” is open to the public and will be on display indefinitely, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the ever-evolving world of art. AGSA’s commitment to innovative and thought-provoking collections continues to captivate audiences, making it a must-visit destination in South Australia.

When: 23 Nov 2023 – 30 Jun 2024
Where: AGSA, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
For more information and program details, visit

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