NGV International

current exhibitions

Tablewares 1930s-1980s
Friday, 30 March, 2018 to Wednesday, 30 January, 2019

WEDGWOOD, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (manufacturer)
Susie COOPER (designer)
Diablo, teapot (c. 1965) (part)
porcelain (bone china)
(a-b) 12.9 x 25.2 x 11.7 cm (overall)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of John Hinds, 2017

The period following the Second World War witnessed enormous changes in society. The loss of domestic servants and home help in many houses, combined with more women going off to work outside the home, saw a need for new domestic arrangements. Dining wares were required to be more versatile – easily cared for and able to go from the oven to the table. A more optimistic outlook following the grimness of the war years saw a reaction against enforced functionalist austerity with an embrace of bold colour and pattern in the home. This exhibition illustrates the growing engagement with modern design by commercial manufacturers, charting the application of technical innovations in production and decorative techniques in pursuit of commercially competitive products.

The exhibition features works from the 1930s to the 1980s from leading manufacturers and designers across Britain, America, Japan and continental Europe. Whilst focusing on ceramics, the exhibition also explores the use of new materials resulting from wartime technological developments, including plastic, aluminium and stainless steel. Graphic design and advertising from the period form a feature of the show.

Hito Steyerl
Friday, 28 September, 2018 to Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Hito Steyerl
Factory of the Sun Installation 2015 Venice Biennale
Image courtesy the artist

The NGV presents German-born, Hito Steyerl’s landmark video installation Factory of the Sun. This is the Australian premiere of this immersive work, which was first shown at the 2015 German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Steyerl’s work takes the digital image as a point of departure for explorations of the ethics, politics, economics and aesthetics of our digital present in ways both critical and playful. She is one of the most critically acclaimed artists working in the field of video today. As the New York Times writes, Steyerl ‘represents a new paradigm of the artist not as solitary genius but as networked thinker.’

Factory of the Sun is an immersive video which samples different genres of moving image including documentary film, video games, drone surveillance, advertising, news footage, and YouTube dance videos. The video tells the story of workers whose forced actions in a motion capture studio are turned into artificial sunshine. The light produced serves as a metaphor for the light emitted from digital screens, and the electromagnetic frequencies used to transmit information around the globe. Steyerl uses light to point to the ambiguous relationship between individual agency, economic interests and indiscernible power in our technologically mediated age. Shifting between playful and menacing, Factory of the Sun draws viewers into a game-like world that nevertheless reflects contemporary questions.

Friday, 28 September, 2018 to Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Alisa Andrasek
Bloom 2012
Image courtesy the artist

Spanning nearly 40 years, from 1980 to 2018, Designing Women highlights the ongoing role of female designers as a dynamic and critical force in shaping contemporary design culture. From fashion design, contemporary jewellery, and product design, to architecture and digital innovation, Designing Women draws from the NGV Collection to showcase over 50 significant works of design – across diverse creative fields – all united by their female authorship.

Increasingly, our cities, services, products and brands are profoundly enhanced by the creative prowess of women. Designing Women shares that female designers, often overlooked in a male dominated industry, are producing sophisticated, iconic, and thought provoking work of exceptional quality.

From modern-day trailblazers including Zaha Hadid and Neri Oxman, to local heroes such as Elliat Rich and Helen Kontouris, Designing Women draws into focus the accelerating opportunity for women to shape the future, in a world increasingly defined by design.

Escher x nendo
Sunday, 2 December, 2018 to Sunday, 7 April, 2019

M. C. Escher
Dutch 1898–1972
Study for Drawing hands February 1948
24.9 x 32.3 cm (sheet)
Escher Collection, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, the Netherlands

Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds is a groundbreaking exhibition that features the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher in dialogue with the work of acclaimed Japanese design studio nendo. This summer blockbuster exhibition creates a visionary and immersive exhibition that seamlessly presents the worlds of both Escher and nendo.

Celebrated as a master of optical illusion, Escher created some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Escher’s unique artistic vision is traced through 160 prints and drawings and presented within a ground-breaking exhibition environment by nendo. Drawn from the world’s largest collection of Escher’s work in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, this expansive exhibition covers the full span of the artist’s career, from 1916 through to his final work produced in 1969.

As one of the leading design studios in the world, nendo draw upon their unique design approach to transcend tradition; by manipulating geometry, space and perception they create a deeply immersive exhibition experience inspired by M.C. Escher.

2018 NGV Architecture Commission
Friday, 2 November, 2018 to Sunday, 24 March, 2019

2018 NGV Architecture Commission: Doubleground by Muir + OPENWORK

Melbourne firm MUIR architecture and landscape architecture studio OPENWORK will present a collage of dramatic structural landscapes for the 2018 NGV Architecture Commission, inspired by key architectural elements of Sir Roy Grounds iconic NGV International building.

The winning proposal entitled Doubleground draws from the façade forms, timber linings and internal courtyards of Grounds’ 1960s design, resulting in a multi-level installation that offers new vistas and perspectives for visitors to experience the NGV Garden.

Doubleground will include an evocative passageway, which references the triangular patterns of the NGV’s roof and glass wall of the Great Hall. The installation will also feature seating elements drawn from the geometry of the NGV façade, a decking area that recalls Grounds’ timber design for the Gallery foyer and a bamboo garden inspired by the building’s original Bamboo Court courtyard.

Doubleground was selected as the winning concept for the 2018 NGV Architecture Commission for its collaborative and multi-disciplinary design approach, which promotes the positive relationship between architecture, landscape and civic space.

The NGV Architecture Commission is an annual open competition, which asks architects to consider innovative ways to activate one of Melbourne’s great civic spaces, the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden, with a thought-provoking work of temporary architecture. The NGV Architecture Commission Design Competition process was developed and delivered by CityLab.

Friday, 9 November, 2018 to Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Julian Opie (English,1958)
Walking in Melbourne 1 2018
vinyl on wooden stretcher
250.0 x 284.2 x 3.5 cm
© Julian Opie

The NGV presents the work of Julian Opie, one of Britain’s most influential living artists. Since graduating art school in the early 1980s and bursting onto a pre-Young British Artists art scene in London, Opie’s work has influenced the wider field of popular culture more than any other artist of his generation – instantly recognisable by his bold, pared back, signature style of depiction.

In this exhibition, created specifically in response to the NGV International spaces, a wide range of subjects are on view, each distilling elements of the natural, urban and figurative world to their essence. A city of skyscrapers takes over Federation Court, stretching up to the glass roof; a shoal of carp swim behind the waterfall facade; stone sheep graze in the gardens and a crowd of sculptures of people walking are caught mid stride in the lobby.

People are a key focus throughout the exhibition and Opie’s most recent works feature portraits and walking figures drawn straight from the streets of Melbourne. His minimal approach is rendered in painting, sculpture and film, recalling the endless human motion captured in Roman and Egyptian friezes, as well as in the famous photographic sequences by Eadweard Muybridge. In the central gallery, more than forty of the artist’s moving image works – from 1993 to the present – will be on display.