Lurid Beauty

Australian Surrealism and its Echoes

NGV Australia

Ground Level, Temporary Exhibitions

Until 31 Jan

Surrealism was one of the most influential artistic movements of the 20th century. Noted for their experimental and playful approaches, Surrealist artists sought to challenge artistic conventions, opening their work to unexpected results and to the accidental image. Through techniques such as automatic drawing and collage, artists worked with the aim of liberating the unconscious mind to effect social and political revolution; others created hallucinatory and dream-like images to reveal their innermost desires.

Surrealism shook up the staid Australian art world of the 1930s and attracted a generation of young radicals who went on to become some of Australia’s most esteemed artists. Surrealism’s echoes and reverberations continue to be felt into the present day, with its rich legacy evident in the practice of some of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists.

Lurid Beauty presents over 200 paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, fashion, films and photographs as well as considering theatre and performance in an exuberant exploration of Surrealism and its profound influence on Australian art and creative life. Juxtaposing historical and contemporary works, the immersive exhibition will showcase the work of artists including Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Max Dupain, Eric Thake, James Gleeson, Julie Rrap, Pat Brassington, Leigh Bowery and David Noonan.

Key Works


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