Melbourne's best exhibitions in May
Cai Guo-Qiang is best known for unique, large-scale artworks that draw on his cultural heritage. In this exhibition, part of the National Gallery of Victoria's prestigious Winter Masterpieces series, he's presenting all new works.
The National Gallery of Victoria's latest winter blockbuster was a look back at the last 130 years of modern art, but their major 2019 winter exhibitions are looking a fair bit further back. All the way to the third century BCE.
There aren't many images from Australian art history that are quite as famous as Sidney Nolan's series of paintings depicting Ned Kelly and stories of his famously ferocious Kelly Gang.
Tom Nicholson’s drawings, sculptures and social practice installations hang in the National Gallery of Australia and have been exhibited at biennales around the world. Yet until now, there has never been a large-scale exhibition of his work.
After beloved Melbourne artist Mirka Mora passed away last year at the age of 90, many of her artworks and personal possessions were put up for public auction. Horrified at the thought of the artist’s legacy being split up, members of Melbourne’s art community set up a crowd funding campaign to allow Heide Museum of Modern Art to purchase a selection of the auction’s contents.
It’s easy to write off Darren Sylvester’s lucid, hyper-real photographs as simply commenting on consumerism. But Sylvester wants to be clear – the branded objects and banal scenes that regularly appear in his works aren’t intended to combat the commercialist agenda.
White Rabbit, a privately owned four-storey temple to 21st century Chinese art, is a big deal in Sydney. It shows Judith Neilson’s epic and eclectic collection to hordes of Sydneysiders every week, ranging from small-scale works to massive installations. This is the first time the collection is being shown at the NGV, with a selection of 26 artists.
Father and daughter artists Hans and Nora Heysen helped shaped the course of 20th century Australian art. Both accomplished artists in their own right, Hans is recognised as one of the pioneers of Australian landscape painting, while Nora was an established portraitist and still life painter who became the first female winner of the Archibald Prize.
It’s not an exaggeration to say Alexander Calder changed the face of modern art. Known as “the man who made sculpture move”, his gravity-defying mobiles are instantly recognisable.
ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE is a major festival all about the ways that artists are approaching climate change, with more than 30 exhibitions around Melbourne. But this exhibition of immersive projection works by Melbourne artist Yandell Walton is one of our highlights.
Looking to get outside the gallery?
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.