Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality
Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape
24 May – 13 October 2019
By Wen Xiao
"Imagine they all come alive!" says a young schoolboy. His words, along with the highly naturalistic style of terracotta warriors, remind us of Mamoru Oshii's renowned screen production Ghost in the Shell: Innocence (2004). The film discusses the ambiguous boundary between human and anthropomorphous robots, challenging the conventional understan...
Visions of Paradise: Indian Court Paintings
National Gallery of Victoria, Southbank
7 Dec 2018 – 29 Apr 2019
By Francis Plagne
Visions of Paradise is an unexpected delight. Bringing together nearly 200 works on paper from the NGV's 1980 Felton Bequest acquisitions of Indian painting, the exhibition offers up a feast of fine details, lavish lifestyles and sizzling colours. Even for the historically uninformed viewer like me, the offerings are an irresistible invitation to rekindle the jo...
Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun
National Gallery of Victoria
28 September 2018 – 24 March 2019
By Amelia Winata
Hito Steyerl is arguably the most important "post-internet" artist alive today. Though the history of post-internet art is a nascent one insofar as wide-spread use of the technology is quite a recent phenomenon, the art that responds to it also reflects this ascendency. Ironically, the post-internet 'condition' seems to have had a limited lifespan, the work seeming to confirm...
Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams
National Gallery of Victoria, Permanent Collection
By Rex Butler
I was recently showing a friend from New Zealand through the Australian
collection at the National Gallery of Victoria and we came, of course,
to Tom Roberts' Shearing the Rams (1888-90). You have to get there
eventually because everything in the collection and its arrangement on
the walls points you that way. The work is visible — and intentionally
so — as you step into the first of the room...
Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions
National Gallery of Victoria Australia, Federation Square31 August 2018 – 28 January 2019
By Victoria Perin
Together George Baldessin and Imants Tillers represented Australia in the 1975 Bienal de São Paulo. Although Tillers was 25 and Baldessin eleven years older, the artists bonded closely: “George represented the more conservative art world I had just decided to abandon,” notes Tillers in an interview with researcher Nicole Bowller from 2016, “but in...
Colony: Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars
Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria. Colony: Australia 1770–1861 until 15 July | Colony: Frontier Wars until 30 September
By Rex Butler
Colony is undoubtedly the best show the NGV has put on since Australian Impressionists in France in 2013. And I’d even say that the two shows are connected. Seriously. Both shake up our conception of what “Australia” is and perhaps even more profoundly where “Australia” is. Certainly, a number...
The Two Sides of the Field
The Field Revisited
Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, 27 April – 26 August
By Rex Butler
There are perhaps three art-viewing experiences I have had that I would say changed the way I looked at and thought about art. The first was when as an undergraduate I wandered without any warning into the Colin McCahon retrospective held at the University of Sydney as part of the Sydney Biennale of 1984. The second was when, again without any warning, I stoo...
NGV International, 17 December 2017 – 15 April 2018
By Giles Fielke
Buried within the question recently explored by Felicity D. Scott, ‘Who is the festival for?’, is the rapidly fading possibility of a public. It is a discourse that seems to slip too easily into arguments about the centrist compromise of regulated-, or neo-liberal, architectures of the state. The elaborate zones of exclusion raised for the National Gallery of Victoria’s inaugural Triennial, which follows its fi...