Tag: ngv melbourne

Bowery Ball at NGV: celebrating Queer Performance art, fashion and Leigh Bowery’s Legacy

Leigh Bowery

On Friday 22 March 2024, the NGV International will transform into a vibrant oasis of queer art, music, and performance. The grounds will set the stage for a show-stopping, late-night queer party, the Bowery Ball, featuring drag, burlesque, voguing, music, and performance art. The event, named in honour of Melbourne-born iconoclast Leigh Bowery, celebrates the flamboyant creativity and indomitable self-expression of Victoria’s LGBTIQA+ community. Bowery, a renowned twentieth-century performance artist, fashion designer and nightclub impresario, has left a lasting impact on the global queer culture. The Bowery Ball will showcase performances from a slew of Australia’s most gifted contemporary artists, musicians, and provocateurs. The roster includes Logie-nominated drag diva Art Simone, award-winning burlesque “supervillain” Ruby Slippers, jazz pianist virtuoso Rosie Rai, and the drag king alter-egos of Danni Ray and Keely Windred, Dazza and Keif. The Great Hall will form the beating heart of the event, treating guests to mainstage performances late into the evening from nightclub host and costumier Bettie Rosé, multi-award-winning sideshow artist Elle Diablo, and more. Meanwhile, the NGV Garden Restaurant will morph into a swanky piano bar, providing a cosy space for intimate performances and storytelling. The lineup here will include performances by NAIDOC Pride Award-winner 2Joocee, Krayola, and others throughout the evening. As the Bowery Ball coincides with the NGV Triennial, guests will also have the opportunity to take tongue-in-cheek tours of the exhibition, led by some of the night’s performers, including Granny Bingo stalwarts and drag superstars. In true homage to Bowery’s daring style, the dress code will encourage… Read More

Explore China’s past at the National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne

China art

Exploring the largest neighbour of Australia is now a lost easier with the latest exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne. The new exhibit named China – The past is present highlights the influence of traditional cultural and artistic practices in contemporary Chinese culture and is open this October from the 15th to 20 February 2023. The exhibition features more than 120 works drawn primarily from the NGV’s historical and contemporary collection of Chinese art and design, which, combined, span over three millennia and an array of art forms – including painting, calligraphy, ceramics, metal works, lacquer ware, textiles, furniture, video, posters, photography and mixed media.   Offering a new interpretation of the NGV’s expansive collection of Chinese art and design, the exhibition features never-before-displayed and recent acquisitions, including a photographic sequence by Sydney-based Xiao Lu, who is widely considered to be China’s first feminist performance artist and one of the best-known artists from China’s Avant Garde art movement of the late 1980s. In the photographs, the artist references traditional Chinese spontaneous calligraphic expression by tipping calligraphy ink over her body.  Tickets are free. For more head to the NGV website

NGV Melbourne hosting a jewellery and body adornment exhibition

Man jewellery scaled

There’s a new a new display highlighting the NGV’s important and multidisciplinary collection and it’s all about your favourite thing: jewellery. The NGV will present an exquisite selection of works from antiquity to the present day, reflecting the wide variety of making traditions and practices across different material, cultural and geographical contexts. And why does it matter? Well, like few other disciplines around the world and from antiquity, it’s defined by a relationship with the body, jewellery and body adornment are among the world’s oldest known artforms. Drawn from multiple areas including Indigenous Art, Decorative Arts & Antiquities, Australian Art, Asian Art, Fashion and Textiles and Contemporary Design, the exhibition will range from the ceremonial and talismanic. Think from the decorative and conceptual. The display features work composed of dazzling, highly prized materials, such as precious gems, metals and iridescent seashells, as well as unexpected materials, such as hair, plastic and rubber, which challenge conventional thinking of what constitutes jewellery and its significance. Jewellery and Body Adornment from the NGV Collection will be on display from 27 August 2022 – 12 June 2023 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Free entry. Further information is available via the NGV website: NGV.MELBOURNE

What to see at the NGV – 5 excellent exhibitions to not miss

NGV Gallery Melbourne

This year, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has a quality spread of art and culture to keep you occupied all autumn-winter long. Comprising the autumn-winter 2022 program, the NGV will kick things off with an homage to Picasso before embarking on the rest. Scroll down for more… The Picasso Century This exhibition opens June 10 at NGV International. The Picasso Century charts the extraordinary career of Pablo Picasso in dialogue with the many artists, poets and intellectuals with whom he intercepted and interacted throughout the 20th century, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Alberto Giacometti, Françoise Gilot, Valentine Hugo, Marie Laurencin, Dora Maar, André Masson, Henri Matisse, Dorothea Tanning and Gertrude Stein. Get tickets here WHO ARE YOU: Australian Portraiture  This exhibition opens on 25 March and will unite collections of the NGV and the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, for the very first time. Featuring more than 200 works by the likes of Patricia Piccinini, Howard Arkley, Vincent Namatjira and more, and depicting sitters such as Cate Blanchett, Queen Elizabeth II and Eddie Mabo, this exhibition will be one of the largest presentations of portraiture ever mounted in Australia. Get tickets here Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection  Because equality is key! This exhibition is a celebration of the queer and LGBTIQA+ stories embedded in the NGV Collection – and is one of the most historically expansive exhibitions ever dedicated to this diverse subject opening March 10. Get tickets here Melbourne Design Week 2022  Australia’s leading annual international design event, returns for its sixth edition from 17–27 March 2022, a key highlight this… Read More

NGV’s latest acquisition: Lavinia Fontana’s Mystic marriage of St Catherine, c. 1575

Lavinia Fontana

The first woman painter of Europe of massive repute – just before everyone’s favourite Artemisia Gentileschi – Lavinia Fontana won plenty of prestigious commissions and became the first woman admitted into the illustrious guild for painters in Rome, the Accademia di San Luca. If Italian Baroque is your period, then you’ll no doubt rejoice in the generously acquired Fontana’s Mystic marriage of St Catherine, c. 1575, making the first painting by this important artist to enter a public collection in Australia and brings a new perspective to the NGV’s strong holdings of Italian Baroque paintings. More about Lavinia Fontana Fontana established her reputation by producing portraits and small devotional works, such as Mystic marriage of St Catherine. This painting illustrates a vision experienced by the Christian martyr, St Catherine of Alexandria (c. 287 – c. 305 CE), in which she consecrated herself to Christ. Catherine lived in Egypt when it was under Roman rule and was persecuted for her Christian beliefs. In a desperate act to change her faith, Emperor Maxentius tried to make Catherine marry him, but she refused him and dedicated herself to Christ. Many of Fontana’s early works featured strong and powerful women from ancient mythology and Christian history. As well as St Catherine, St Elisabeth, Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary, she also painted the Old Testament heroine Judith in the act of beheading Holofernes, and the goddess Venus. Fontana was actively encouraged by her parents to be an artist – an extraordinarily enlightened act for the time. Her father, Prospero Fontana, was her teacher… Read More

Melbourne: the NGV Triennial EXTRA festival returns

NGV Triennial 1

Art lovers rejoice! The National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial EXTRA, its free late-night festival, returns in 2021 featuring a program stacked with live performances, DJs, dan ce, food, pop-up bars and after-hours access to the NGV Triennial exhibition, launching Friday 15 January and running nightly until 14 February. Here are some highlights to add to the diary. AS SHE FLOATS BY SCOTTY SO – Tue-Sun, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Exhibiting NGV Triennial artist Scotty So appears across the Ground Level of NGV International silently lip syncing a Chinese Opera inspired by the myth of the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e. Dressed in a holographic Tang dynasty style Hanfu robe with hair and makeup styled after the traditional images of the moon goddess, So performs as an offering to the spirits of the space. SCARLETT NIGHT BY SCOTTY SO –Tue-Sun, 8:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Scarlett So Hung So, artist Scotty So’s drag persona, takes visitors on a journey through time in Adam Nathaniel Furman and Sibling Architecture’s NGV Triennial installation Boudoir Babylon 2020, paying homage to Japanese actress and singer Yoshiko Yamaguchi, 60s songstress Rebecca Pan, Greek diva Maria Callas and Australia’s queen of pop Kylie Minogue. OPENING WEEKEND DJS – 15, 16 & 17 Jan, 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm – Setting the scene on the Forecourt and in the Garden, local DJs performing during EXTRA’s opening weekend include emerging talent Millú; local nightlife mainstay Andee Frost; disco, funk and electronic specialist Edd Fisher; and multifaceted classical house DJ and curator Merve. JEFF KOONS ON ICE BY HAMISH MCINTOSH – Mon, Wed & Fri, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm & 7.00… Read More

NGV gives away 30k free high res art images

NGV art

Why? Because they can. Also, it’s part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s commitment to making art easily and publicly downloadable as image files from the NGV website for non-commercial and scholarly use. Back in 2014, the NGV committed to making its 75,000-strong collection of public works digitised and accessible regardless of their proximity to the gallery and this year, they’ve hit about 70% of the collection now, but introducing another 30,000 images to what’s available. Think works along the lines of Giambattista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra 1743?44, Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa c. 1830 and Emma Minnie Boyd’s Interior with figures, The Grange 1875. For more, head to the National Gallery of Victoria’s website.

Chinese Terracotta Warriors on display with Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘The Transient Landscape’ at Melbourne’s NGV


It was back in December that news the Chinese Terracotta Warriors were coming to Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria and now, the time’s come. Presented alongside of one of the most exciting Chinese contemporary artists of our time, Cai Guo-Qiang, the Terracotta Warriors are back at the NGV for the second time in history, for the enjoyment of art lovers who’re after a journey through history and a celebration of contemporary Chinese art. Cai Guo-Qiang’s exhibition, The Transient Landscape, is a presentation of all new art works inspired by his home country’s culture and its enduring philosophical traditions, including a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds. It’s quite epic to see. Exclusive to Melbourne and presenting nearly 170 works, the exhibition will offer a new perspective on Chinese culture, past and present and features 8 life-size Terracotta Warriors and monumental new works by Cai Guo-Qiang including, Murmuration (Landscape) 2019. See the exhibition at the NGV International from 24 May 2019 – 13 October 2019. Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality | Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape from NGV on Vimeo.

What to see at the NGV: Summer exhibitions of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat

From 1 December, the National Gallery of Victoria will have two of the most influential artists of the 20th century on show. Until 13 April 2020 and exclusive to Melbourne, the NGV will present more than 300 works in an exhibition that will offer new insights into Haring and Basquiat’s unique visual languages and the many intersections between their lives, practices and ideas.         This of course off the back of the NGV’s winter Friday Night Series, which in 2019 stars a tonne of leading and emerging singers and performers, really rounding out what the Gallery has to offer. Oh, and plenty of dumplings, courtesy of Hutong Dumpling Bar. “We felt there’s been enough time to pause and reflect on just how powerful their (Haring and Basquiat’s) aesthetic has become worldwide, particularly in Melbourne, which is famed for its street art scene,” said Tony Elwood, director of the NGV. The Gallery is known for their leading and renowned exhibits, which this year and to round-out summer, will highlight the artists’ idiosyncratic imagery, radical ideas and complex socio-political commentary that changed the art world of the 1980s.      See more about the exhibitions on now and in summer at the NGV at the Gallery’s website.

NGV Friday Nights return with late-night summer access to Escher X nendo

NGV Friday

Food, drink and dining are back on at the NGV this summer, into the late hours for the gallery’s loved Friday Nights arrangement. Complete with a music line-up fusing classical and contemporary influences, exclusive late-night access to Escher X nendo / Between Two Worlds, this summer’s headline electronic artists and DJs include songwriter and producer Andy Bull, Melbourne duo Confidence Man, Sydney’s Nicole Millar, record producer Jonti and Australian/Filipino artist Chela are ones to see. Creative collaboration platform anon. will also present Bach X Reimagined, an immersive music installation featuring live classical musicians in the Gallery Kitchen. Head along any Friday from 7 December 2018 – 5 April 2019 + 6 April, 6pm – 10pm. Get tickets here.