All programs & events

Members Exclusive: Art Critical

NGV International
Exhibition space
Ground Level

NGV Triennial explores a range of contemporary art and design practices, ranging from 3-D printing and architecture, to performance, film, painting, drawing, fashion and sculpture. What can these works tell us about contemporary art, and how should we consider them, both individually and as a whole?

Learn how to critically analyse contemporary art in a series of guided enquiry tours hosted by Dr Tara McDowell.

Each session focusses on a different selection of NGV Triennial artworks. Includes a complimentary glass of wine on arrival.

Book into individual sessions via the drop-down boxes below, or book into the series here.

Learning Outcomes

  • Visual description and analysis
  • Knowledge of contemporary art and artists

Mon 5 Feb, 6–7.30pm (Past)

Session one considers some of the extraordinary objects made for the Triennial, from Xu Zhen’s Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana …, 2016–2017 to Ron Mueck’s Mass, 2017 to Studio Formafantasma’s Ore-Streams, 2017.

Spend time thinking about how these objects were made, what resources they require, what relationship they have to the world of art and the world of things, and how they engage with and address the museum visitor.

Key artists:

  • Xu Zhen
  • Ron Mueck
  • Formafantasma

Mon 19 Feb, 6–7.30pm
SESSION TWO: Wilson Must Go

Artists Candice Breitz and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer renamed their artworks in the Triennial Wilson Must Go in order to protest the NGV’s contract with Wilson Security, which had provided security services for the Nauru and Manus Island detention camps.

Session two looks at these works and the works of other Triennial artists including Shilpa Gupta and Richard Mosse which address the movement (and lack of movement) by people across the globe. We will explore the responsibility of art institutions to what is happening both inside and outside the building through key works by these artists.

Key artists:

  • Candice Breitz
  • Shilpa Gupta
  • Richard Mosse
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Mon 5 Mar, 6–7.30pm
SESSION THREE: People

Multiple artists in the Triennial engage with portraiture, whether through representation of the self or other, in especially compelling ways. Session three considers artists’ responses to issues of adornment, disguise, masquerade, stereotype, gender and otherness., exploring the specific social, cultural, and political contexts in which artists are embedded, and how they work with and against those environments.

Key artists:

  • Paulina Olowska
  • Tala Madani
  • Kay Hassan
  • Nick Cave

Mon 26 Mar, 6–7.30pm
SESSION FOUR: Places

The Triennial joins hundreds of similar events unfolding across the globe: large-scale, recurring, temporary exhibitions of contemporary art usually sited within cities. Session four considers the success of this format and its vexed relationship to globalisation, social and economic capital, and politics of place.

Discuss what societies the Triennial imagines, serves and empowers; what spaces of consensus and dissensus it facilitates; and consider specific artworks that engage with place..

Key artists:

  • Jorge Méndez Blake
  • Yamagami Yukihiro

Supported by program patrons Maureen Wheeler AO and Tony Wheeler AO.

Booking required
$40 M / $50 G (individual session) $144 M / $180 G (series)
General enquiries
Ph +61 3 8620 2222
9am–5pm, daily