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Media Release • 10 Feb 24

NGV Triennial: more than 600,000 visitors attend gallery-wide exhibition of contemporary art and design in first two months

Today, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and the Victorian Government announced that the third NGV Triennial has welcomed more than 600,000 visitors since it opened on 3 December 2023, putting it on track to become one of the institution’s most popular exhibitions.

On display until 7 April 2024 exclusively in Melbourne, the free exhibition is a powerful and moving snapshot of the world today as captured through the work of 120 artists, designers and collectives from more than 30 countries and regions.

The attendance figure includes the nearly 40,000 visitors who attended Triennial EXTRA, the free after-hours festival of performance, talks, DJs and more which ran from 19 – 28 January. Across ten days, the Triennial EXTRA festival presented over 90 events featuring more than 160 local Victorian creatives, musicians and performers.

A major highlight was Melbourne Tennis Ball Exchange, a participatory artwork by leading British artist David Shrigley where visitors could swap their own pre-loved tennis balls for one of over 8,000 new balls. Inspired by the work of Thomas J. Price, performer Candy Bowers curated and hosted Afrocentric, a program of nightly performances, dance, music and spoken word. The program included 45 singers, musicians, dancers, poets and choreographers and celebrated the talents of African communities living in Australia.

The week-long NGV Kids Summer Festival also contributed to the success of the NGV Triennial, with over 14,000 children participating in all-ages events, workshops and activities led by Victorian artists and creatives and inspired by children’s exhibition RIFIFI: Jean Jullien for Kids. On display as part of NGV Triennial, RIFIFI transforms NGV’s dedicated kids’ gallery into a bold and graphic underwater world designed by French visual artist Jean Jullien.

The Hon. Colin Brooks, Minister for Creative Industries, said: ‘More than half a million attendees – and counting! This free exhibition and its action-packed program offer something for all ages and it is wonderful to see local, interstate and international visitors flocking to NGV.’

‘Bold and accessible events like the Triennial are part of what makes NGV Australia’s most popular gallery and we’re proud to back this awe-inspiring exhibition – ensuring it’s free for every Victorian to enjoy.’

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: ‘It is a testament to the creative vision of the Triennial artists and designers that so many Victorians and visitors alike have embraced this exhibition with such enthusiasm. One of the core roles of a public institution like the NGV is to share art and culture with as many people as possible. It is our privilege to have been able to share this exhibition with more than half a million visitors to date – and we look forward to welcoming even more over the coming months.’

The inaugural NGV Triennial in 2017 attracted more than 1.23 million visitors and remains the NGV’s highest attended exhibition to date. The 2020 edition drew more than 548,000 visitors, despite the challenges of the global pandemic.

In addition to support from the Victoria Government, NGV Triennial 2023 has been generously supported by over 100 donor families, philanthropic foundations and corporate partners who have enabled the delivery of this ambitious exhibition.

NGV Triennial is on display until 7 April 2024 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Entry is FREE. Further information is available via the NGV website: NGV.MELBOURNE    

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