Geelong Gallery

current exhibitions

Elizabeth Gertsakis
Saturday, 17 February, 2018 to Sunday, 6 May, 2018

Elizabeth Gertsakis A Farmer’s daughter saved from outrage, by a brave dog 2013
Digital pigment on canvas
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and William Mora Galleries.


Elizabeth Gertsakis’ digital paintings and works on paper reinterpret the illustrations accompanying reports of crimes and misdemeanours published in broadsheet newspapers by Richard Egan Lee in 1870s Victoria, including newsworthy events that occurred in and around Geelong. An advocate for the dissemination of information to all classes of settlers, Egan Lee fought multiple slander and obscenity cases—after each of which he established a new masthead including Police News, Police Budget, Citizen Press, Banner of Truth and Pictorial Weekly Budget—and changed visual censorship laws in Victoria.

Gertsakis’ profiling and re-evaluation of these images 140 years after they first circulated amongst Victoria’s burgeoning population is particularly timely given recent and ongoing censorship debates, while her digital manipulation of images parallels the cut and paste techniques of the historical broadsheet illustrators. 

Prints from the collection of Laurence O'Keefe and Christopher James
Saturday, 17 March, 2018 to Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Jörg Schmeisser
Looking back  1984
Collection of Laurence O’Keefe and Christopher James
Acquired 1988

Jörg Schmeisser (1942–2012) was an internationally trained and critically acclaimed master printmaker whose etchings set a benchmark for technical brilliance and conceptual richness. He was the Head of Printmaking at the Australian National University School of Art in Canberra between 1978–96 where he was a highly influential teacher and mentor.

Schmeisser was a humanist, environmentalist, cultural historian and inveterate traveller. His vast printed oeuvre is a record of his wide-ranging journeys and sensitive observations of the simple and spectacular beauties of the world.

This collection of 34 works dating from 1968 to 2011, assembled over 40 years by Laurence O’Keefe and Christopher James, is a promised bequest to Geelong Gallery. The collection is a fine representation of the depth and breadth of Schmeisser’s graphic investigations and his beguiling technical mastery of drawing and the etching process.

This exhibition is supported by the Margery Rix Bequest. Margery was a long-term member of the Friends of Geelong Gallery.

Saturday, 16 December, 2017 to Sunday, 8 April, 2018

Antipodean views (installation view, featuring works by Julia Silvester, Peter Mazell and Robert Cleveley). Photographer: Andrew Curtis.

Julia Silvester’s panoramic Antipodean view is the central work—physically and conceptually—in this selection of prints and drawings from the permanent collection. Using imagery from eighteenth and nineteenth century prints interpreting Australian flora and fauna, Silvester creates a new and expansive landscape: a second representation of which is composed from the Indigenous words for land, sky and cloud.

Silvester’s work is displayed alongside historical engravings depicting the arrival of the British fleet in Botany Bay and early interpretations of Australian fauna (such as those she appropriates), as well as contemporary Australian landscapes by Peter Booth, David Frazer and Lesley Duxbury, and works by Indigenous artists Laurie Nona and Judy Watson.  

Roberts and McCubbin from the Art Gallery of Ballarat
Monday, 26 February, 2018 to Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Frederick McCubin The Letter 1884
oil on canvas
Art Gallery of Ballarat
Purchased, 1946

These two exceptional works by Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin are on loan from the Art Gallery of Ballarat, offered in recognition of Geelong Gallery’s loan to Ballarat—until the end of May this year—of three treasured paintings by Eugene von Guérard.

The Geelong Gallery’s three works—Aborigines met on the road to the diggings 1854, View of Geelong 1856, View from Fritz Wilhelmberg, Herne Hill, Geelong 1860 (formerly Mr Levien’s hut on the Barwon, but recently retitled due to new research)—are central to Eugene von Guérard: artist–traveller, a major exhibition that looks at von Guérard’s numerous trips into the Western District, his sketches, and the important paintings he then worked up in his studio. Geelong Gallery’s pictures are essential inclusions in this new examination of von Guérard’s remarkable and intrepid journeys through our region’s landscape, and the exhibition presents an opportunity for these works to be seen in the context of the artist’s broader practice.

Similarly, this exchange of works by Roberts and McCubbin from the Art Gallery of Ballarat creates a dialogue between the two paintings and with works by the two artists in our own collection: Roberts’s Portrait of Charles James Howard 1889 on the adjacent wall, and McCubbin’s A bush burial 1890 and Hillside, Macedon 1904.

Unlike their grand national landscape subjects for which they received significant acclaim, both the Roberts and the McCubbin paintings from the Art Gallery of Ballarat are charming, yet no less important, examples of domestic subjects imbued with an emotional register.

The Geelong Gallery collection at the Australian Club
Saturday, 17 February, 2018 to Friday, 11 May, 2018

Sam Leach  Peacock going up 2006
oil on canvas
Geelong Gallery
Fletcher Jones contemporary art prize, 2006
Image courtesy of the artist

Mindscapes draws together a selection of paintings form the 1960s to the present day that range from photo-realist to lyrically abstract landscapes, and from precise figuration to fluid, suggestive painterly spaces. The pictorial moods, material qualities, and subjects of each of these diverse works create quietly powerful and affective mindscapes—revealing something of the mysteries and motivations of picture making. The inner vision, outer view and expansive imaginations of Australian artists are surveyed in this lively selection of highlights from the Geelong collection.