The Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) announced this morning that its exhibition of more than 100 works by French artist Henri Matisse – originally slated to run this year but cancelled due to the coronavirus – has been rescheduled for next summer. Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces From the Centre Pompidou, Paris will explore the artist’s career, from his early years working in the fauvist style – which favoured the use of colour and painterly techniques over realistic representation – to the end of his life, when he filled a south-eastern French chapel with drawings, artworks and even stained-glass windows.

A concurrent exhibition, Matisse Alive, will explore his ongoing influence on art in the 21st century. Four new artistic projects – ranging from textiles to large-scale paintings and video works – will offer modern viewpoints on Matisse’s legacy, with particular focus on his depictions of the Pacific and the female form.

The exhibition is just one of many that will be displayed at the AGNSW in 2021, as the gallery celebrates its 150th year.

“The new year brings a program that highlights the gallery’s commitment to recognising the work of women, the centrality of Aboriginal art to our identity, and the importance of the arts of Asia and the Pacific to our understanding of global art and our place within it,” said the gallery’s director Michael Brand in a statement.

The year will kick off with Streeton (until February 14), the most significant survey yet of Australian impressionist artist Arthur Streeton’s career. Late Australian-American sculptor Margel Hinder will be celebrated in Margel Hinder: Modern in Motion (January 30 to May 2), while the lives and practices of artists from Australia’s Central Desert are highlighted in Joy (until February 21).

The Archibald Prize will return in 2021, marking its 100th year. In addition to the traditional Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes exhibition, Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize will examine the winners, losers and controversies of the Archibald’s first century. Both exhibitions will run from June 5 to September 26.

And the gallery will team up with the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks for another instalment of The National (March 26 to September 5) – an exploration of the current state of Australian art. This year’s exhibition at the AGNSW will promote Indigenous ways of knowing, seeing and being, via 14 projects that highlight how art can heal and care for our natural and social ecosystems.

The Purple House (from September 4 to 2022) and Longing for Home (March 6 to August 22) will also focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. And The Way We Eat (April 3 to 2022) will explore the influence of eating, drinking and preparing food via ancient and contemporary artworks.

Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou Paris, will run from November 20, 2021 to March 13, 2022

artgallery.nsw.gov.au