From Ai Weiwei to Monet, it's never too early to start planning your 2018 cultural excursions, says Ros Brennan. Consider this your essential guide

In an era where issues such as propaganda, post-truth, fake news, the refugee crisis and gun violence permeate our daily lives, switching on the nightly news can be an exhausting exercise. While there are many virtues of art, perhaps one of the most important is its ability to explore critical world issues from a new perspective. It makes us conscious of things we wouldn't otherwise see, often presenting hard-hitting issues in colour-saturated dreamscapes that whisk us away from the banality of the everyday.

In 2018, Australia's art landscape reflects the sentiment of the times, with big bold installations from world renowned contemporary artists, four biennales presenting a range of works from art royalty to exciting new talent as well as exquisite paintings from Europe's traditional masters providing space for quiet contemplation. Click through the gallery to discover the top ten exhibitions taking place across Australia in 2018. 

Art agenda: your guide to 2018’s best exhibitions