All past exhibitions 

  • 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


    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.

    Book now at

  • 03 Nov 2012 – 19 May 2013

    Ballet & Fashion

    Ballet & Fashion is a joint project between The Australian Ballet and the NGV that showcases some of the most successful collaborations between fashion designers and dance companies over the past three decades. Designing for dance is a remarkably different process than creating for the runway. By embracing the tradition of the tutu or expanding a company’s repertoire with challenging styles, materials and forms, designers have reshaped the look of dance and ballet for the contemporary stage.

  • 18 Oct 2012 – 01 Apr 2013

    RALLY: Contemporary Indonesian ArtJompet Kuswidananto & Eko Nugroho

    Jompet Kuswidananto and Eko Nugroho are members of the art community that centres on the vibrant central Java city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Jompet is an installation artist, while Nugroho works across diverse media; creating paintings, murals and handmade comic books, contemporary updates of the tradition of shadow puppet theatre, and collaborations with local craftspeople to produce embroideries. As a pairing, they shine light on the effervescent contemporary Indonesian art scene and present a wide-ranging, yet precise snapshot of this world.

  • 17 Oct 2012 – 28 Oct 2012


    Since 2010, Sierra's global art project has traversed the world, commissioning the construction of giant letters from materials of local importance, and then publicly – and dramatically – destroying them. Having built and torn down structures in cities around the world, the project now comes to Melbourne for the destruction of the tenth and final letter.

  • 05 Oct 2012 – 03 Mar 2013

    ConfoundingContemporary Photography

    Photography has the uncanny ability to make the strange, uncomfortable and awkward seem plausible, to suggest a confounding alternative reality. The photographers in this exhibition use found objects in macabre still lives, propose perplexing narratives using models and dolls, employ a variety of techniques to create disturbing portraits and construct a fantastic reality based on art, science and imagination.

  • 05 Oct 2012 – 31 Dec 2013

    Asian art

    Visit our newly refurbished Asian art galleries dedicated to displaying the art and culture of Chinese, Japanese and South and Southeast Asia.

    Thanks to the support of the Felton Bequest, The Art Foundation of Victoria, the Supporters of Asian Art and many generous donors, the NGV’s Asian Art collection has grown to be one of the most revered collections in Australia.

  • 14 Sep 2012 – 18 Nov 2012

    ExperimentaSpeak to Me Screening Program

    Experimenta Speak to Me, 5th International Biennial of Media Art considers what it means, at this time, to be together. How do we consider our new relationships to the world, technology and each other? What does this connectedness offer us?

    At the NGV, My voice would reach you by Japanese artist Meiro Koizumi will screen daily (excluding Tuesdays) until 17 November 2012.

  • 07 Dec 2012 – 17 Feb 2013

    TEES: Exposing Melbourne’s T-shirt cultureNGV Studio

    Eddie Zammit is something of a T-shirt hunter. He owns well over 4,000 of them. ‘I have enough tees to wear one a day for over a decade’, he proudly announces. A collaboration between Just Another, NGV Studio and T-world, TEES: Exposing Melbourne’s T-shirt culture examines and dissects the city’s passion for cotton through Zammit’s eyes. Featuring photography by Nicole Reed, TEES includes visual content on Melbourne’s influential artists, brands and designers. Visitors will also see some classic local tees and prominent Melbourne T-shirt souvenirs. Zammit has dug deep into his T-shirt collection to uncover influential items that demonstrate the power of the city’s T-shirt past.

  • 28 Sep 2012 – 24 Feb 2013

    Negotiating this worldContemporary Australian Art

    This exhibition brings together a selection of contemporary art from the NGV Collection acquired through the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists. Reflecting the breadth of artistic practice in Australia over the past decade, Negotiating this world: Contemporary Australian Art  includes more than 100 works by contemporary artists of diverse cultural backgrounds and practices.

    The exhibition will coincide with the 10 year anniversary of the opening of The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

  • 31 Aug 2012 – 28 Jan 2013

    The Four HorsemenApocalypse, Death and Disaster

    The Four Horsemen presents images of death and disaster in prints, illuminated manuscripts, illustrated books and paintings from the fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. This was a period of great turmoil in Europe, during which bitter religious conflict, war, famine and pestilence generated deep anxiety. Dramatic events and natural disasters were increasingly read as divine punishments or warnings that the Last Days were imminent.

  • 02 Jun 2012 – 07 Oct 2012

    NapoleonRevolution to Empire

    Open 10am-5pm daily, until 9pm Wednesdays

    Napoleon: Revolution to Empire is a panoramic exhibition examining French art, culture and life from the 1770s to the 1820s. Its story runs from the first French voyages of discovery to Australia during the reign of Louis XV to the end of Napoleon’s transforming leadership as first Emperor of France. Book now at

  • 20 Apr 2012 – 26 Aug 2012

    UNEXPECTED PLEASURESThe Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery

    A Design Museum, London touring exhibition

    Unexpected Pleasures looks at what we mean by jewellery from a number of different perspectives.  Taking as its starting point the radical experiments of the Contemporary Jewellery Movement that challenged a conventional understanding of the language of personal adornment, and looking instead at the essential meanings of jewellery, the exhibition brings together important work from around the world, and looks at it from the point of view of the wearer as well as the maker. Contemporary  Jewellery in this sense is at the intersection of art and design.

    Curated by Dr. Susan Cohn for the Design Museum, London with exhibition design by Ab Rogers Design and graphics by Barnbrook.

  • 07 Apr 2012 – 05 Aug 2012

    Fred WilliamsInfinite Horizons

    A National Gallery of Australia Exhibition

    Fred Williams pioneered a new vision of the Australian landscape, and became one of the most important Australian artists of the twentieth century. This exhibition highlights Williams’ strength as a painter including important oil paintings and luminous gouaches to reveal his distinctive approach. He sought inspiration from the unique landscapes of places such Upwey in Victoria, Tasmania’s Bass Strait and the arid Pilbara region of Western Australia, drawing on the abstract qualities of the distant horizons of this vast country.

  • 31 Mar 2012 – 03 Feb 2013

    An Excellent Adventure

    An Excellent Adventure invites children on a journey inspired by a time when sailing ships explored the seven seas. Climb aboard with our two intrepid young adventurers and along the way discover treasures, stories, myths and legends. Peek into the wonderful cabinets of curiosities to examine the intricacies of the ushabti figures from Egypt, ancient stories recorded on artworks from the Mediterranean and Asian symbols found throughout the NGV collection. Through hands on and multimedia experiences, children aged 0 - 8 and their families can journey together to explore the world through art. Excellent!

  • 23 Mar 2012 – 16 Sep 2012

    Light Works

    The sun’s light is an elemental force of nature without which our planet would not exist. Light is also fundamental for the creation of photographs, indeed some of the first photographs were named ‘calotype’ meaning a ‘beautiful impression’ created by light. Light, and its absence, it still a source of inspiration for many contemporary photographers. In this exhibition drawn from the NGV Collection, artists including Mike and Doug Starn, David Stephenson, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Bill Henson, use the emotive potential and scientific capacities of light in their creative explorations of the world. Works included range from photograms (camera-less images); large scale installations and digital light-based technologies. 

  • 22 Mar 2012 – 15 Jul 2012

    Top Arts 2012

    A major event in the annual school calendar, Top Arts 2012 again presents outstanding work completed by young student artists as part of their assessment for VCE Art and Studio Arts.