Sydney Modern, an impressive art gallery expansion to the NSW Art Gallery has opened.

Described as the most significant cultural institution in Sydney since the Opera House, it comprises a series of pavilions across four levels, with art terraces and courtyards that appear to fan out to take in harbour and city skyline views.

The first thing visitors to the gallery will see as they walk in the door is the Indigenous art collection in the Yiribana Gallery that NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin described: “as the best in the world”.

The impact this gallery will have on the arts in this city will stand the test of time, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said at the media preview. “The governments investment has been an unwavering focus on supporting access to art of world-leading standard.”

NSW Art Gallery director Michael Brand, who has overseen the gallery’s transformation for over a decade said the new gallery, will feature local and overseas works by more than 900 artists.

One of the most interesting installations is the subterranean Tank Gallery, pictured, a 2200 square-meter-area with 150 pillars within a decommissioned World War 2 naval fuel bunker, featuring time-travelling sculptural forms in a darkened space. Another is the Outlaw exhibition on level 2 in a first-ever, purpose-built gallery for time based art that celebrates antiheroes of popular culture. And if the curved design of the gallery shop at the entrance catches your eye, it was crafted by surfboard maker Hayden Cox.

When it comes to accessibility there is a lift to all floors and easy wheelchair access from the entrance and within the galleries. Disability toilets are located on all floors, except the ground floor entrance, and there are two changing places facilities. Wheelchairs are also available. A children’s library, study room and restaurant, cafe and kiosk are in the new building.

There are three dedicated disability parking spots, one in front of the new gallery and two in the forecourt of the NSW Art Gallery. Hearing loops are available in selected areas of the new gallery which has free entry.

For information and bookings visit:

Photo: NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Art Gallery director Michael Brand and Arts Minister Ben Franklin doing a walk-through at Sydney Modern

The Tank Photo: Abril Felman