All past exhibitions 

  • 16 May 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

    Italian Masterpieces

    The holdings of Italian art in the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid are unique and unrivalled in museums outside Italy.  Drawn from its magnificent collection, this exhibition of over 70 paintings and 30 drawings presents a rich selection of works spanning 300 years of Italian art, from the early sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

  • 10 May 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

    Pastello – Draw Act

    Design Commission 2014
    As part of the NGV commitment to design and children’s programming, Italian design duo Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli of Mathery Studio have designed a new immersive kids space that broadens our appreciation of the simple act of drawing.

    Pastello – Draw Act re-imagines traditional drawing tools and processes.

    Children are invited to use their bodies to draw with their heads, feet and of course hands using crayon spheres and other unusual tools. They can be vigorous or considered to make their unique  mark. Don’t expect the usual, do expect an experience that is fun,  encourages experimentation and delights in  gesture and expands understanding of the drawing process.

  • 09 May 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

    David McDiarmidWhen This You See Remember Me

    I never saw art as being a safe thing. I know that exists but that's not something that involves me. David McDiarmid, 1993

    Defying classification, the work of David McDiarmid encompasses the complex and interconnected histories of art, craft, fashion, music, sex, gay liberation and identity politics; happily residing in the spaces between high and low art, popular culture and community engagement. At once kaleidoscopic, celebratory and darkly humorous in tone, the artist’s idiosyncratic, highly personal and at times, confessional work highlights the redefinition and deconstruction of identities – "from camp to gay to queer" – drawing on the experiences of a life intensely lived in Melbourne, Sydney and New York. Charting the shifts in politics and individual and community expression that unfold across the decades of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, this exhibition also reveals McDiarmid’s artistic and grassroots political response to the impact of HIV / AIDS during the 1980s and beyond, for which he is best known internationally.

    This exhibition includes coarse language and sexual content.

  • 09 May 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

    Fashion Detective

    Fashion Detective takes a selection of miscellaneous garments and accessories as the starting point for a series of investigations. Using material evidence and commissioned fictions as alternate interpretative strategies, the exhibition is an encounter with the art of detection.

  • 01 May 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

    Inge KingConstellation

    Now in her 99th year, Inge King is one of our most senior artists. This exhibition presents the most complete survey of Inge’s remarkable career to date.

    Since arriving in Australia in 1951, Inge King has been a major contributor to the development of abstract sculpture in this country. She has exhibited her work consistently in solo exhibitions and has participated in many group exhibitions. Her work is held in all major national collections and through her numerous public commissions she has become one of Australia’s best known and most prominent sculptors.

  • 17 Apr 2014 – 24 Aug 2014

    Sue Ford

    Sue Ford was a pioneer of Australian photography, and one of the most important practitioners to emerge in the wave of 1970s feminist photographers. This retrospective exhibition celebrates her artistic life and career. It brings together key photographs, digital prints, collages and films created over an almost fifty-year period, as well as important archival materials.

  • 11 Apr 2014 – 20 Jul 2014

    StArt Up: Top Arts 2014

    In 2014 the highly popular Top Arts celebrates its twentieth year at the NGV. The exhibition presents outstanding work by students who have completed Art or Studio Arts studies in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and provides insight into young people’s ideas, thinking and creative practices.

  • 04 Apr 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

    William Blake

    This exhibition will showcase the NGV’s acclaimed collection of works by William Blake which includes spectacular watercolours, single prints and illustrated books. Due to the material’s light sensitivity, these works are only infrequently exhibited and the exhibition provides the rare opportunity to see the Gallery’s complete holdings of Blake’s work which span his full career, from his earliest to his latest years.

  • 06 Dec 2013 – 09 Jun 2014

    Three PerfectionsPoetry, Calligraphy and Painting in Chinese Art 三绝:詩书画

    Three Perfections explores the interconnections between poetry, calligraphy and painting. In traditional China, scholars and scholar-officials were cultivated in these arts as vehicles of self-expression. Painting was regarded as 'silent poetry' and poetry 'painting with sound'. Scholars trained in the 'art of handwriting' or calligraphy at an early age used calligraphic brushstrokes in their paintings.

    This exhibition consists of paintings and calligraphy from the Asian Collection. Works dating from the fourteenth century to the present will show the uniqueness of Chinese art and the contrast between traditional and contemporary art in the continuity of a living tradition.

  • 22 Nov 2013 – 23 Mar 2014

    Melbourne Now

    Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, design and architecture produced in this city.

  • 18 Oct 2013 – 02 Mar 2014

    Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion

    Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion comprises over 200 photographs and more than 30 garments. This stunning exhibition captures the sophistication of the modern woman and the elegance of high end fashion from this golden age of fashion and photography.

  • 11 Oct 2013 – 27 Oct 2013

    Pedro ReyesDisarm

    Disarm is Mexican artist Pedro Reyes's response to global civilian warfare, the result of the illicit arms trafficking that claims many lives daily. Using parts from thousands of weapons confiscated by the Mexican government, Reyes has worked with local artisans to create an ensemble of forty-seven ingenious instruments including electric guitars fashioned from assault weapons, drum sets from pistols, flutes from shotguns and a harmonica carved from a handgun. Disarm is an inspired model of symbolic transformation, and a bold declaration: make art not war!

    Pedro Reyes: Disarm is part of the Melbourne Festival

  • 28 Sep 2013 – 27 Oct 2013

    Wired for Melbourne Sound

    Melbourne has long been recognised for its diverse independent music scene. A major strength is the relationship between local musicians and visual artists. Many musicians are also practising artists, and artists from both genres often inform and inspire one another’s activites. Wired for Melbourne Sound presents a broad exhibition that reflects the creativity that exists within the music scene and provides an insight into this vibrant, if lesser known, aspect of the cultural life of Melbourne.

  • 14 Sep 2013 – 18 May 2014

    Textiles of Michael O'ConnellNGV Collection Focus

    This NGV Collection focus showcases the vibrant print designs of British-born textile artist Michael O'Connell who lived and worked in Melbourne from 1921-1937. From early figurative works, to a fascination with classical motifs, Australiana and later abstraction, O'Connell's fabrics chart the emergent aesthetic of the modernist age.

    The display is just one highlight of the newly refurbished 19th and early to mid 20th century Australian Collection galleries.

  • 10 Aug 2013 – 20 Oct 2013

    Visual MusicMasters of Light and Colour

    NGV Collection Focus

    During the 1990s, Indigenous Australian women emerged as artists of astonishing innovation and eloquence, a phenomenon that has positioned them at the forefront of contemporary Indigenous art practice. The eight senior Indigenous masters of light and colour represented in this special NGV Collection Focus inform their paintings with profound knowledge and cultural memory of Country and its sanctity. The works evidence the artists’ embodied experiences that are both physical and mnemonic and which predated European contact and its consequent cultural and intellectual assail. These intrepid practitioners of contemporary art have simultaneously come to the fore in two distinct cultural and geographical regions of Indigenous Australia: the vast inland deserts and a tiny island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland.

  • 10 Aug 2013 – 27 Oct 2013

    Print WorksThe Douglas Kagi Donation

    This exhibition celebrates the recent donation to the NGV of a substantial collection of British, American and European prints dating from the 1960s to the 1990s. Donated by Dr Douglas Kagi, the collection has a strong representation of British Pop art of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the prints of many major contemporary artists working in Britain, America and Europe. Print Works: The Douglas Kagi Donation presents work by Frank Stella, Donald Sultan, Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Poalozzi, Howard Hodgkin, Antoni Tàpies and Mimmo Paladino, among others.

  • 27 Jul 2013 – 15 Sep 2013

    Ian Strange: SUBURBAN

    Ian Strange: Suburban is a multifaceted photography, film and installation exhibition created by New York-based Australian artist Ian Strange. Since 2011 Strange has worked with filmmakers and volunteers in Ohio, Detroit, Alabama, New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire to create, photograph and film seven site specific interventions incorporating suburban homes. The recording of these interventions through film and photographic documentation forms the basis of this new and groundbreaking exhibition.

  • 15 Jun 2013 – 06 Oct 2013

    Australian Impressionists in France

    For the first time, the story of the Australian artists who lived in France during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is presented in an exhibition of over 120 stunning works of art. Australian Impressionists in France challenges our understanding of Australian art during these revolutionary decades.

  • 27 May 2013 – 29 Dec 2013
  • 17 May 2013 – 15 Sep 2013

    Robin RhodeThe Call of Walls

    Robin Rhode is a South African artist based in Berlin who works in photography, animation, drawing and performance. The Call of Walls is an exhibition of new works that derive inspiration from the streets and politics of his hometown Johannesburg. Rhode’s witty, engaging and poetic works make reference to hip-hop and graffiti art; to the histories of modernism; and to the act of creative expression itself.

    A special exhibition for youth and families will accompany Rhode’s photographs and animations. This unique project extends the artist’s interest in wall drawing and encourages participants to come together to draw and colour in an interactive installation of large-scale paste-ups.


    This exhibition is generously supported by the Joan and Peter Clemenger Trust.

  • 10 May 2013 – 08 Sep 2013

    Monet’s GardenThe Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

    “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”

    Monet’s Garden is a stunning exhibition devoted to Claude Monet’s iconic garden at Giverny. Renowned as the ‘father of French Impressionism’, Monet was inspired by his direct experiences of nature, culminating in the ravishing depictions of his lily and flower gardens in the rural property at Giverny, northern France, that became his lifelong obsession. Step into the extraordinary this winter for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these masterpieces in Australia, exclusive to Melbourne.

    Book online: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/

  • 03 May 2013 – 30 Sep 2013

    Céleste Boursier-Mougenotclinamen

    Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is a French artist and composer who creates large-scale acoustic installations and environments which draw upon forces of nature and the rhythms of everyday life to produce new forms of art and music.

    In its unification of colour, sound and space, clinamen encourages a form of multi-sensory or ‘synaesthetic’ engagement with the work of art.

  • 11 Apr 2013 – 01 Sep 2013

    Mix Tape 1980sAppropriation, Subculture, Critical Style

    Mix Tape 1980s: Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style explores a decade of dynamic change in contemporary art and culture, from appropriation and sampling in painting and music to the DIY aesthetics of post-punk music, art and fashion; and from postmodern critiques of history, authorship and originality to postcolonial revisions of Australian history and identity.

  • 21 Mar 2013 – 07 Jul 2013

    Top Arts 2013

    Top Arts 2013 presents the work of forty-three of our freshest and most inspiring young artists. 

    An annual event at the National Gallery of Victoria since 1994, Top Arts is an exhibition of outstanding work by students who have completed Art or Studio Arts studies in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in the previous year. This year sees some exciting developments for Top Arts which for the first time is displayed in NGV Studio, the Gallery’s popular and dynamic contemporary art space at NGV Australia.

  • 16 Mar 2013 – 28 Jul 2013

    Dior and YamamotoThe New Look

    Dior and Yamamoto: The New Look is a small exhibition that considers two pivotal moments in the history of fashion through designers Christian Dior and Yohji Yamamoto.

  • 16 Mar 2013 – 29 Sep 2013

    Indigenous art

    The new Indigenous exhibition demonstrates the physical, spiritual and ecological importance of the four elements of nature to Indigenous people. Using the four architecturally discrete spaces of the Indigenous ground-floor galleries, each space is devoted to describing the Dreaming associations and Ancestral narratives related to fire, water, earth and wind across media.

  • 01 Mar 2013 – 01 Sep 2013

    DUH-HEAD!

    TASTE , an installation by Aleks Danko  explores the idea of beauty and who decides what good taste is and how an art audience can be DUH-HEADS!  

    Children receive an Aleks Danko mask and are invited to respond to the art works on display by drawing their DUH-HEAD!

  • 14 Feb 2013 – 21 Jul 2013

    Bea Maddock

    Bea Maddock is one of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, recognised in particular for her innovative and evocative prints. This exhibition examines her long career through works selected from the NGV’s strong holdings, spanning her early prints of the 1960s, the incorporation of photo-etching and mass-media imagery in the 1970s, and her profound explorations of existentialism, humanism and Australia’s contested histories, in particular her masterpiece, the panoramic drawing TERRA SPIRITUS … with a darker shade of pale (1993–98).

  • 12 Feb 2013 – 16 Jun 2013

    Captivating style1950s Melbourne

    In the 1950s, tree-lined Collins Street was considered Melbourne’s epicentre of style. Here, exclusive salons and millinery houses reigned over fashionable society by selling custom-made luxury to a discerning clientele. Photographers also contributed to the glamour of the precinct.

  • 22 Dec 2012 – 02 Sep 2013

    Contemporary Asian & Pacific Art

    The NGV’s newly opened Contemporary Asian & Pacific Art gallery focusses on art practice that is part of a global art world, yet geographically closer to Australia than Europe or North America.