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Melbourne's recurring festival of art returns to hold a mirror up to our world
The hotly anticipated NGV Triennial is back and runs until April 18, 2021, showcasing 86 thought-provoking, eye-widening works from more than 100 artists.
Of those 86 works, 34 have never been seen before and were commissioned by the NGV explicitly for the Triennial. The gallery has managed to score some of the world’s top artists and designers for the blockbuster exhibition, with names like Jeff Koons, Refik Anadol, Porky Hefer, Kengo Juma, Fecal Matter and Hannah Brontë.
As with the inaugural Triennial in 2017, the exhibition is both artistically cutting edge and visually engaging, with several larger-than-life works scattered throughout the gallery.
You'll be hard pressed to miss Refik Anadol’s ten-metre ‘Quantum Memories’ (a huge multimedia work that uses artificial intelligence to create an alternative vision of the natural world). It’d be equally impressive to miss celebrated American artist Jeff Koons' ‘Venus’ – a lustrous, larger-than-life sculpture of Greek goddess Venus bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Royal Doulton figurine.
Art imitates life, as they say, and you can expect the Triennial to be no different. While the exhibition is diverse in both artist and works (more than 30 countries are represented), tying all of it together are pertinent themes like isolation, representation and speculation.
You can also expect a few works that directly explore the global garbage fire that has been 2020. In ‘Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE) Post Covid Facemasks’ UK artist Alice Potts turns food waste and flowers into face shields, while Melbourne-based, Hong Kong-born artist Scotty So presents ‘China Masks’ a set of eight porcelain facemasks that spark humour in what has been an exhaustingly grim situation.
The NGV Triennial is free and opens to the public Friday, December 19. You will, however, need to book tickets to help manage visitor numbers, with bookings opening Friday, December 4. Visit the NGV website for the full list of artists.
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