All past exhibitions 

  • 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.

  • 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 – 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • 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 – 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.

  • 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.

  • 01 Mar 2013 – 01 Sep 2013


    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.

  • 08 Dec 2012 – 17 Feb 2013

    just sing what you feel

    just sing what you feel is an exciting installation by Melbourne artist Jon Campbell, encouraging people of all ages to contribute to, and play with, contemporary art and music. Drawing inspiration from suburban life, everyday language, and rock ‘n’ roll, Jon Campbell takes motifs from Australian culture and represents them in a colourful, pop art style. His art encourages us to look closely at the world around us and to find meaning and beauty in the everyday.  Come to the exhibition to play, sing, and make art together.

    Supported by Monica and Peter Edwards.

  • 22 Dec 2012 – 05 Jan 2014

    Kings over the water

    In 1688, James II, the Catholic King of England, Scotland and Ireland, was ousted by parliament in the Glorious Revolution and fled into exile in France.  But he did not quietly relinquish his claim to the throne, and he immediately began plotting his return.  So began a political and military struggle which would last nearly sixty years as the Stuart dynasty sought to reclaim their lost Kingdoms.  The most famous event in this momentous struggle occurred in 1745 when James II’s grandson, Bonnie Prince Charlie, led an armed invasion of Scotland and England, a revolt which was put down at the bloody Battle of Culloden, but which almost met with success.  Throughout the years of struggle in exile, the Stuarts continued to have many supporters in England and Scotland.  Such support was, however, treasonous.  So the Stuart supporters, or Jacobites, instituted, amongst other things, the practice of drinking toasts to their King “over the water” in glasses engraved with cryptic symbols which reflected their Stuart loyalties.
    The NGV possesses an extensive and important collection of these rare glasses, many of them generous gifts from the Morgan family of Melbourne.  Kings over the water will explore the fascinating hidden symbolism of these beautiful objects, created as part of  a doomed political adventure whose tragic history continues to cast a romantic spell even today.  

  • 30 Nov 2012 – 17 Mar 2013

    Thomas Demand

    Organised with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

    Thomas Demand is regarded as one of the world’s leading contemporary artists whose work in photography and, most recently stop-animation films, is at the forefront of contemporary art. 

  • 30 Nov 2012 – 17 Mar 2013

    Jeff Wall Photographs

    Jeff Wall is one of the most influential and outstanding contemporary photographers working today. He has frequently been called a modern storyteller, and his work is shaped by his profound awareness of Western art and literature. One strand of his practice is conceptual and involves small-scale, thoughtful observations of ‘things’ that appear to have been photographed in situ. The other strand comprises more complex activities, generally including people that are then meticulously re-enacted for the camera. This is a unique opportunity to see the Canadian-born artist’s work in Melbourne. Spanning 1978 to 2010, the exhibition features 26 photographs drawn from throughout his career including several large scale works and major light box transparency works such as After 'Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue 1999–2000 and the extraordinary, A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993.

    Organised by the Art Gallery of Western Australia in association with the National Gallery of Victoria

  • 23 Nov 2012 – 21 Jul 2013

    Containment2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award

    The Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award is a generous legacy of the late Colin Rigg (1895-1982), a former Secretary of the Felton Bequests' Committee. This ‘Award of Excellence’ focuses on contemporary design practice in the state of Victoria and is a reflection of the NGV’s continuing support for and commitment to contemporary design. It is arguably the richest and most prestigious prize ever offered to a contemporary designer in Australia, with a prize of $30,000. Held every three years, each exhibition is devoted to a particular design discipline. The past five exhibitions, in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2006, and 2009 represented ceramics, metalwork, textiles, jewellery and furniture design respectively. In 2012 the exhibition is dedicated to vessels and the notion of containment.

    The Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award is generously supported by the Cicely & Colin Rigg Bequest, managed by ANZ Trustees.

    The National Gallery of Victoria congratulates Marian Hosking as the recipient of the 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award for her work Clearing.

  • 23 Nov 2012 – 21 Jul 2013

    ThrownStudio ceramics from the Kenneth Hood Bequest

    Thrown: Studio ceramics from the Kenneth Hood Bequest is a tribute to a connoisseur and passionate collector who had a wide-ranging but focussed approach to his collecting. Kenneth Hood was interested in both international and Australian ceramic artists and his passion was collecting thrown stoneware pieces created in a studio environment. Hood’s collection is comprehensive and, with the addition of works acquired through his Bequest Fund, provides the opportunity for a detailed examination of both the history and the development of Australian studio ceramics.

  • 16 Nov 2012 – 17 Mar 2013

    RadianceThe Neo-Impressionists

    Be inspired by the vibrant beauty of the luminous landscapes, glittering Parisian cityscapes and stunning portraits in this survey of the Neo-Impressionist movement. Forging a new path in the mid 1880s, Georges Seurat moved away from the earlier style of the French Impressionists, who had favoured the capturing of natural light and the first impression brought by a particular scene.  Seurat preferred instead a more ordered and ‘scientific’ method of painting. This new method saw him place individual dabs of colour side by side on the canvas, rather than mixing colours together. When contrasting colours are placed side by side in this way, they oscillate against each other, creating an effect of shimmering light in the viewer’s eye.  This regular repetition of colour touches brought an almost abstract visual rhythm across the painted canvas. Rejecting naturalism and the illusion of perspective, Neo-Impressionism later evolved towards ever more striking colour harmonies. The exhibition features spectacular paintings by Seurat, Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce and Théo van Rysselberghe among others, and is the first of its kind to be staged in Australia.

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