Exhibitions opened in 2011 

  • 17 Dec 2011 – 03 Jun 2012

    In the steps of the Buddha

    This exhibition of 80 Buddhist and Hindu works of art drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria explores the development of Buddhist imagery across Asia. From early Buddhist works created in India in the 2nd - 4th centuries AD to a contemporary Zen Buddhist ink and brush painting in the Chinese tradition, In the steps of the Buddha illustrates different styles of art associated with the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist schools. The exhibition presents a wide range of Buddhist works of art including sculptures of the Buddha, bodhisattvas and Buddhist deities in bronze, wood, clay and lacquer, ritual items, pilgrimage souvenirs, paintings, masks and manuscript covers and includes works from Gandhara, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

  • 04 Nov 2011 – 26 Feb 2012

    Ranjani ShettarDewdrops and Sunshine

    Filtering Indian craft traditions through her own novel sensibility, Ranjani Shettar transforms natural phenomena into magical forms.

  • 14 Oct 2011 – 19 Feb 2012

    British Watercolours 1760–1900The Age of Splendour

    This exhibition, drawn entirely from the NGV Collection, traces the revolution in British watercolours from the late eighteenth century to the end of the Victorian era. In this period the delicate, tinted drawing of the topographical draughtsman was transformed into a powerful and expressive art form by some of the Romantic and Victorian era’s greatest artists. Watercolour was pivotal to the changing attitudes to landscape at this time and witnessed a shift in emphasis from the recording of the observed world to the expression of the artist’s personal response to nature. The exhibition also reveals the increased ambition of watercolourists in the later 19th century whose ’exhibition watercolours‘ competed with oil paintings in terms of size, brilliance of colour and effect and range of subject matter.
    Artists represented include Thomas Gainsborough, J.M.W. Turner, William Blake, Ford Madox Brown and many others.

  • 30 Sep 2011 – 12 Feb 2012

    TjukurrtjanuOrigins of Western Desert Art

    A collaboration between the NGV and Museum Victoria in partnership with Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd

    This important exhibition features 200 of the first paintings produced at Papunya in 1971 to 72 by the founding artists of the Western Desert art movement. These seminal works sparked the genesis of the Papunya Tula movement, now internationally recognised as one of the most important events in Australian art history.

    Tjukurrtjanu includes paintings, shields, spear throwers, stone knives, historical photographs, headbands and body ornaments.

  • 30 Sep 2011 – 04 Mar 2012

    Looking at LookingThe Photographic Gaze

    The act of photographing people involves a process of observation, scrutiny and looking.  At times photographers remain detached and anonymous.  Other times they are complicit, directing their subjects and encouraging specific actions and poses.  Sometimes the gaze is returned, and sometimes it is denied.  The power of the gaze can create complex relationships between the subject, the photographer and the audience.

  • 23 Jul 2011 – 05 Feb 2012

    10 ways to look at the past

    10 ways to look at the past features works by ten contemporary Australian artists that demonstrate a fascination with the passing of time. Drawn from the NGV’s permanent collection of contemporary art, the exhibition traces a range of artists’ approaches to the past whether nostalgic, introspective, playful or critical.  Including several new acquisitions, works in the exhibition range from large scale installations, sculptures and video art, to photographs, prints and watercolours. 

  • 18 Jun 2011 – 09 Oct 2011

    Vienna: Art & DesignKlimt, Schiele, Hoffmann, Loos

    Stylish, provocative, rebellious, and unforgettable – the world has seen nothing like Vienna in 1900. A century ago, a group of radical young artists, architects, writers, musicians, designers and thinkers overturned all the rules and created a brave new world. Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos were central to this artistic revolution which transformed Vienna into a dynamic metropolis at the forefront of ground-breaking modernism.

  • 28 May 2011 – 25 Nov 2012

    Art of the Pacific

    The National Gallery of Victoria believes that it is vital to honour the art and culture of the Pacific so that it will be perceived here in Melbourne as one of the world’s great art traditions that continues to develop and is open to change. To that end the NGV opened its first Oceanic gallery at NGV International in December 2003. The Oceanic gallery enabled the NGV to create a Pacific presence on the ground floor but the scale of the permanent gallery did not do justice to the importance of Pacific Islander art or to the NGV’s vision for the Asia Pacific region that embraces Indigenous Australia, the Pacific and Asia. On 28 May 2011, synchronous with the NGV’s 150th anniversary, the Gallery opened to the public a modern permanent space dedicated to art of the Pacific with a special focus on the work of living artists. In this dynamic white cube, art of the Pacific moves out of its darkened cul-de-sac and into a light-filled 21st century space with a 5 metre ceiling.

  • 24 May 2011 – 03 Feb 2013

    Living WaterContemporary Art of the Far Western Desert

    A modern art movement originated at Papunya in 1971, which has since transformed the way we see the land and the history of art in Australia. Almost forty years after the genesis of the Western Desert art movement, its epicentre has dramatically shifted from Papunya in the Northern Territory to the Pintupi homelands of Kintore and Kiwirrkura in the Gibson Desert, and to communities that lie hundreds of kilometres to the south and west in far-flung reaches of South Australia and Western Australia (the Far Western Desert).

  • 16 Jul 2011 – 27 Nov 2011

    This Wondrous LandColonial Art on Paper

    This exhibition will showcase the NGV’s outstanding collection of nineteenth-century Australian works on paper.  Spanning the period from early settlement in the late eighteenth century through to the Federation of Australia in 1901, the exhibition will celebrate the Collection’s great riches while charting the specific development of the graphic arts in the colonies.

  • 16 Apr 2011 – 07 Aug 2011

    Eugene von GuérardNature Revealed

    The exhibition will place von Guérard in the artistic and scientific contexts of the major European art centres in which he studied - Rome, Naples and Düsseldorf – and will explore the dynamic role of each centre to his singular vision of landscape painting and to the way he interpreted the Australian landscape.

  • 02 Apr 2011 – 11 Sep 2011

    Deep Water

    Since the nineteenth century, water and its environs have presented an endlessly fascinating subject for photographers.

  • 31 Mar 2011 – 19 Jun 2011

    Top Arts: VCE 2010

    A major event in the annual school calendar, Top Arts: VCE 2010 again presents outstanding work completed by young student artists as part of their assessment for VCE Art and Studio Arts.