Rex Butler
Colony: Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars

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...

Rex Butler
The Field Revisited

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...

Giles Fielke
Triennial

Triennial

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...

Victoria Perin
Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco

Del Kathryn Barton, The Highway is a Disco

Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia, Federation Square, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018

By Victoria Perin

Although Memo Review has already examined an exhibition from the National Gallery of Victoria's quadruple billing of female Australian artists (see Paris Lettau's review of Our knowing and not knowing: Helen Maudsley), I believe that as the arts community has directly requested more representation of contemporary...

Francis Plagne
Every Brilliant Eye

Every Brilliant Eye

Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria

By Francis Plagne

Walking through Every Brilliant Eye—a large survey of the NGV's holdings of Australian Art from the 1990s curated by Jane Devery and Pip Wallis—I was struck by how much it look like parts of Melbourne Now, the NGV's sprawling 2013-2014 snapshot of contemporary art practices in Melbourne. It is not only that many of the same names reappear, sometimes with work little changed by the twenty years separat...

Anthony White
Van Gogh and the Seasons

Seasonal Adjustment Disorder: Van Gogh in Melbourne

Van Gogh and the Seasons

National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 28 April – 9 July 2017

By Anthony White

There are many extraordinary works of art to be seen in Van Gogh and the Seasons and yet certain aspects of the National Gallery of Victoria exhibition are disappointing. Individual paintings that stand out as masterpieces of modern art are shown side by side with frankly insignificant and minor pieces. In addition,...

Beth Kearney
Bill Henson

Insistently Henson

Bill Henson

National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road, 10 March – 27 August 2017

By Beth Kearney

Even now, it is difficult to visit a Bill Henson exhibition without being burdened by the controversy that occurred at Roslyn Oxley9 just less than nine years ago. Stylistically, however, Henson has not changed his tack: the exhibition Bill Henson, part of the NGV’s Festival of Photography, is yet another rearticulation of his most recognisable qualities as an artist.

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Kate Warren
Daniel Crooks: Parabolic | Miyanaga Akira: REALTIME

Daniel Crooks, Parabolic

Anna Schwartz Gallery, 11 February – 1 April 2017

Miyanaga Akira, REALTIME

National Gallery of Victoria, 18 November 2016 – 30 April 2017

By Kate Warren

The growth of the large metropolitan cities of modernity occurred largely alongside the invention and proliferation of camera technologies in the nineteenth century. It is therefore not surprising that many of the earliest, and most iconic images from the histories of photography and cinema feature cities or...