2 July

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei double bill coming to NGV in December

Warhol Weiwei

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei are big names in their own right – putting them on the same bill makes this the summer blockbuster worth booking well in advance.

Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei – announced this morning – is a joint venture between the NGV and Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, with the participation of Wei (as he’s known to his fans), and will cover the scope of both artists’ careers over more than 300 works – including major new commissions. In other words: this will be a significant event in the international art world – and Melbourne gets it first, with the show opening there on December 11, and heading to Pittsburgh in June.

Although it might initially seem like an odd double-bill, Weiwei and his antecedent are a good match, in practice and philosophy – and the Chinese provocateur would be the first to admit he owes the American pop artist a huge debt.Read more

16 June

Footscray gallery runs exhibition of George Brandis-ruined artworks to fight arts cuts

Skywhale_Robert Hague

There are viral memes that burn through their fame on your newsfeed in a flash, only to be forgotten; and then are the few viral memes that live on in our hearts. And in our galleries, apparently.

From Friday June 19 to Sunday June 21, Footscray’s Ruffian Gallery will display a selection of images created by pissed-off individuals in response to Australia’s Arts Minister George Brandis’s decision to cut over $100 million from independent arts funding.

In case you missed it, the pictures all depict Brandis’s face photoshopped onto classic pieces of art, under the assumption that the minister has – in the artists’ words – “seized $100m+ independent arts funding to play with himself. So here we are”.

Sound of Music_Mary Elizabreast

Simple, hilarious, powerful: the arts community immediately rallied by the campaign, and now, Ruffian will be displaying a selection of these photoshopped delights to raise money to fight the arts cuts.

The exhibition is free, but donations are very welcome.… Read more

10 April

Dark Mofo announces 2015 program

Dark Mofo 2015
Dark Mofo is the Museum of Old and New Art’s festival of music, performance, food and art, celebrating the winter solstice with a nod to pagan notions of staving off the darkness and bringing back the light.

This year’s Dark Mofo (Jun 12-22) will be only the third, but the event has already built up a reputation by dint of its strong theme and its even stronger programming choices, which include exclusives for cult artists such as Diamanda Galas and Sunn O))); they also balance out big ticket items with free art and their Winter Feast festivities down on the water front – an outdoor market that serves up street food (with a strong focus on local produce) alongside performance and music – and lots of outdoor fire.

This year, the festival will expand its scope, creeping up beyond the confines of the harbour city all the way to Cradle Mountain.… Read more

2 April

The NGV announces its 2015 Winter Masterpieces exhibition: The Legacy of Catherine the Great

Posted by in Arts, News

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Whatever your opinion on Russia today, the 1700s were a golden age of arts, literature and education, championed by Catherine the Great, who ruled from 1762 to 1796.

Catherine the Great saw herself as a philosopher queen, with a drive to see Russia rise with Europe in the Age of Enlightenment. As such, she was an avid art collector, gathering masterpieces by the great Flemish, Dutch, German, British and Chinese artists.

For the first time ever, the NGV will see over 400 works from her personal collection travel to Melbourne, on loan from St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, which Catherine the Great founded in 1764. Highlights of Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great include four Rembrandts (search online for ‘Young Woman with Earrings’ and you’ll get a sense of his ability to evoke beautifully intimate scenes), as well as works by Titian, Rubens and Velasquez. Prepare to marvel at the imposing life-size portrait of Catherine and paintings of the Hermitage complex.… Read more

20 February

The Melbourne Fringe Festival puts call out for Uncommon Places II: Instructions

Melbourne Fringe

As the Melbourne Fringe Festival expands every year, we’re relishing the chance to celebrate what makes our city different (and to use it as further proof of our status as the country’s art capital).

Last year, the festival exploded from the theatres into the streets, putting art in unusual places with its keynote project Uncommon Places. This time, it’s widening its borders out to the City of Stonnington, too.

The concept is simple: 18 emerging artists will create and exhibit installations at various public locations.

“The return of an expanded Uncommon Places is great for artists and venues involved, and for the audiences in Melbourne to come and engage with the work during the festival,” says creative director Jayne Lovelock. “Last year’s program produced beautiful work in spaces that people don’t usually associate with art. It allowed regular visitors to see the places in a new light, while giving visitors an insight they wouldn’t have normally had.”

The theme this year will be ‘instructions’, and artists will be encouraged to explore it any way they choose using text, audio, visual art, sculpture, film, or any other non-performance medium.Read more