The best art exhibitions in Melbourne this month

From blockbuster shows to hidden gems, hands-on events and things to do – here is your hit-list
Hito Steyerl ' Factory of the sun' NGV 2018 supplied photo
Hito Steyerl 'Factory of the sun' 2015, Installation view at the 56th Venice Biennale © Hito Steyerl
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This month is your last chance to catch the NGV's huge MoMA exhibition, before the modern masterpieces all head back to New York. But there are still plenty of high-profile shows running this month, including Polly Borland's photography retrospective, Hito Steyerl's installation at the NGV and Eva Rothschild's exhibition at ACCA.

Looking to get out of the gallery? See the best street art in Melbourne. And if you're after something a touch more dramatic, here's our hit-list of the best theatre in Melbourne this month.

Melbourne's best art shows

1
artwork at Biennale of Australian Art 2018
Art

Biennale of Australian Art

icon-location-pin Ballarat
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This will be the first year Ballarat has played host to this brand new art biennale, but we feel that we can already confidently declare it the daytrip of every Melbourne art lover's dreams.

2
Hito Steyerl 'Factory of the sun' NGV 2018 photo supplied
Hito Steyerl 'Factory of the sun' 2015, Installation view at the 56th Venice Biennale © Hito Steyerl
Art, Film and video

Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun

icon-location-pin Southbank
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Could dancing save the world? German artist Hito Steyerl uses a montage of dancing figures as symbols of how we live and what we’re turning into, before we experience the complete digitisation of our everyday lives.

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3
Eva Rothschild: Kosmos ACCA 2018
Eva Rothschild, 'Border' 2018. Image courtesy the artist.
Art

Eva Rothschild: Kosmos

icon-location-pin Southbank
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This is the first solo Australian exhibition of the Irish-born artist who's set to represent Ireland at next year’s Venice Biennale. 

4
Art, Galleries

Archibald Prize

icon-location-pin Geelong
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The Archibald Prize is the exhibition that stops a nation – well, a city anyway. Everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong.

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5
Art, Galleries

Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions

icon-location-pin Melbourne
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George Baldessin and Brett Whiteley were both born in 1939, achieved meteoric success in their respective cities of Melbourne and Sydney, and died tragically young. Yet the similarities don’t stop there.

6
Gothic Beauty Bendigo Art Gallery 2018
John Glover, 'Figures in a stormy wooded landscape' c 1831. Collection Bendigo Art Gallery.
Art

Gothic Beauty: Victorian notions of love, loss and spirituality

icon-location-pin Bendigo
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In 1764, the publication of Horace Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto caused a sensation. Inspired by Walpole’s tale of a haunted castle, ladies of the day became obsessed with all things “gothic” and supernatural.

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7
Josh X Muir Koorie Heritage Cultural Trust 2018
Josh Muir, 'Tong', 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.
Art

Josh X Muir

icon-location-pin Melbourne
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Drawing inspiration from hip hop and street art culture, as well as his Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta heritage, Ballarat artist Josh Muir’s kaleidoscopic multimedia works hang in the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.

8
Julia deVille: Wholeness and the Implicit Order
Photograph: Theresa Harrison
Art, Sculpture and installations

Julia deVille: Wholeness and the Implicit Order

icon-location-pin St Kilda
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It may surprise you to learn that Julia deVille, known as a jeweller, artist and taxidermist, is actually a vegetarian. She's spent most of her career preserving animal bodies and arranging them into intricate works of art.

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9
Ken Unsworth at NGV Australia
Art

Ken Unsworth: Truly, Madly

icon-location-pin Melbourne
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If you wander into the NGV's Ian Potter Centre this summer you might find yourself face-to-face with some rather creepy spectres. 

10
Mike Parr Melbourne Festival 2018
Mike Parr, Kindness is So Gangster (Specified Abstract Expressionism)”, 2018 Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.
Art

Mike Parr: Kindness is so Gangster (Specified Abstract Expressionism)

icon-location-pin Melbourne
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Mike Parr is best known for his innovative performance artworks (earlier this year he was buried under a main road in Hobart), but for Melbourne Festival he'll be showing his latest project: self portraits made from glass sculpture. 

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Looking to get outside the gallery?

Croft Alley, Melbourne Street Art 2017, Photo credit: Graham Denholm
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Art, Street art

Where to find the best street art in Melbourne

Sure, street art covers almost every nook and cranny of our creative, colourful city, but there are more highly concentrated clusters than others. These are the street art hotspots that any self-respecting 'grammer should be snapping: the city's ten best street mural hotspots, in all their spray-painted laneway glory. 

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