The Field Revisited

Free entry

NGV Australia, Federation Square

Level 2, 20th C Australian Art

27 Apr – Aug 2018

OPEN 10AM–5PM DAILY

The National Gallery of Victoria’s inaugural exhibition at its new premises on St Kilda Road in 1968 was The Field, the first comprehensive display of colour field painting and abstract sculpture in Australia. Regarded as a landmark exhibition in Australian art history, The Field was a radical presentation of seventy-four works by forty artists who practised hard-edge, geometric, colour and flat abstraction, many of which were influenced by American stylistic tendencies of the time. The Field was a conscious counterpoint to the NGV’s mainly historical permanent collection, and was the first in a planned series of exhibitions dedicated to contemporary Australian art. With its silver foil–covered walls and geometric light fittings, The Field opened to much controversy and helped launch the careers of a generation of Australian artists, including Sydney Ball, Peter Booth, Janet Dawson and Robert Jacks. Eighteen of the exhibiting artists were under the age of thirty, with Robert Hunter the youngest at twenty-one years of age.

The Field Revisited recreates this landmark exhibition for its fifty-year anniversary in 2018. By reassembling as many of the original seventy-four paintings and sculptures as possible, this restaging will re-examine the exhibition’s impact and significance for Australian art history and allow a new generation to experience it for themselves. Because some works included in The Field are known to have been destroyed, the NGV has commissioned a number of artists, including Normana Wight and Col Jordan, to recreate their original works for The Field Revisited.

The Field Revisited is accompanied by a reprinted version of the rare and highly collectible 1968 exhibition publication alongside a new publication which reflects the importance of this exhibition over the past fifty years. The Field Revisited opens in April 2018 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.

Find the Field

The National Gallery of Victoria is seeking public assistance to find works of art from one of the most influential art exhibitions ever held in Australia, the 1968 NGV exhibition The Field.

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