Aboriginal funeral poles, fluorescent light installations, Sidney Nolan - Australian art has been reimagined for a celebration of works old and new.
The Art Gallery of NSW is launching its redesigned Australian collection this weekend, with 25 per cent more room dedicated to newly acquired works as well as pieces not seen for years.
Some 500 works will be on display, spanning two centuries and all media.
"History has to be revisited every decade or so," senior curator of Australian art Deborah Edwards told AAP.
"Instead of tying to say there's one narrative about Australian art history, we'll swap that for multiple perspectives."
More than 60 free events will be held this weekend, with talks by Thomas Kenneally and Wendy Whiteley and live music from Holly Throsby, along with film screenings and art workshops.
"It's rare for us to be able to refurbish like this," Edwards said.
The Picasso exhibition, which closed in March, saw the Australian collection suspended for seven months, injecting the funds for its redesign.
"There's all sorts of contracts you make with artworks as a viewer; you have an emotional response and those responses are unpredictable," Edwards said.
"I hope people will think it's much fresher, and that there's things they can revisit - it's a real testament to the strength of this collection."
The gallery also presents the country's first-ever exhibition of Australian symbolism.
"It's a movement people don't know a lot about because we haven't had an exhibition on it before," curator Denise Mimmocchi told AAP.
Seventy works are on display from collections all over Australia and from a private collection in London, looking at both European influence and Australian interpretations of sleepers, dreamers and femme fatales.
"It's an art form about appealing to the senses, about painting as it's seen or felt," said Ms Mimmocchi.