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Upcoming Art Exhibitions to See

Art Lovers | 10 May 2024

Winter is coming, and what better way to warm your soul than by immersing yourself in art at an exhibition? Don’t miss out on these must-see art shows we’ve curated for you to add to your calendar.

1. ~ Alphonse Mucha

Spirit of Art Nouveau

An ornate illustration, decorated with flowers, of a person with flowers in their hair

15 June ~ 22 September

AGNSW | SYDNEY

One of art’s great stylistic innovators, Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) created some of the most instantly recognisable and best-loved works in modern European art. In seductive, sinuous compositions, he developed a new language that defined the look of late 19th-century Paris to be the very spirit of art nouveau.

Realised in close cooperation with the Mucha Foundation, Prague, Alphonse Mucha: Spirit of Art Nouveau is drawn from the Mucha Family Collection. Bringing together Mucha’s illustrations, jewellery, interior decoration, photographs and more, the exhibition reveals an artist and designer whose powerful influence remains with us today.

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2. ~ Gauguin’s World

Tōna Iho, Tōna Ao

Gauguin's World

29 June ~ 7 October

NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA | CANBERRA

Gauguin’s World: Tōna Iho, Tōna Ao offers a rare opportunity to experience the enduring art of French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin. Featuring some of his most recognised masterpieces, many of which were created in the Pacific region, the exhibition offers new perspectives on Gauguin’s life and work, his artistic influences and networks, as well as his historical impact and contemporary legacies.

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3. ~ Iris van Herpen

Sculpting the Senses

QAGOMA's 2024 program to feature Judy Watson, Iris van Herpen, APT11 and more – Media Release – Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art

29 June ~ 7 October

GOMA | BRISBANE

Fashion, art, design, science and technology collide in the world of endlessly innovative and internationally acclaimed Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen.

Exclusive to Brisbane, this exhibition is an immersive sensory exploration of her practice with close to 100 garments in conversation with contemporary artworks, natural history specimens and cultural artefacts from which the designer draws inspiration.

Created for the likes of Beyonce, Björk, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga and Tilda Swinton, van Herpen’s sculptural silhouettes stem from a deep curiosity about the universe and a highly collaborative approach to haute couture. Her unconventional and dynamic approach to fabrics and techniques combines subtle hand-crafting with sophisticated technologies such as 3D printing to evoke the intricacy and diversity of the natural world, from marine biology to quantum physics.

‘Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses’ includes an evocation of the designer’s Amsterdam studio, revealing the stages of a dress in development, and a space dedicated to her fashion shows. The entire exhibition is accompanied by a new soundscape by artist Salvador Breed.

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4. ~ Grace Cowley & Ralph Balson

Ralph BALSON<br/> <em>Painting no. 14</em> 1941 <!-- (recto) --><br /> oil on cardboard<br /> 47.3 x 78.8 cm<br /> National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br /> Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund, 2012<br /> 2012.194<br /> © Ralph Balson Estate <!--104226-->

Opens 23 May

NGV – AUSTRALIA | MELBOURNE

Instrumental in the development of abstract art in Australia, Grace Crowley and Ralph Balson were extraordinary artists whose collaborative practice resulted in two of the most compelling bodies of work in Australian art history.

Crowley studied in Paris between 1926 and 1929 with Cubist artists André Lhote and Albert Gleizes, and her style was greatly influenced by their Cubist teaching. Upon her return to Sydney, Crowley played a pivotal role in the dissemination of modernist principles. English-born Balson, a trained plumber and house painter, moved to Australia when he was twenty-three. He enrolled in weekend classes at Julian Ashton’s Sydney Art School in the early 1920s, where he was taught by Crowley.

In 1932, Crowley established an art school with fellow artist Rah Fizelle. With its premises on George Street, Sydney, the Crowley-Fizelle School attracted artists including Balson and Margel and Frank Hinder who were becoming increasingly interested in abstraction.

Crowley and Balson were included in the seminal show Exhibition 1, the inaugural display of semi-abstract painting and sculpture in Australia, which was held at David Jones Gallery in 1939. Two years later, Balson held a solo exhibition at Anthony Horden’s Fine Art Gallery, the first exhibition comprised entirely of pure abstraction to be exhibited in the country.

During this intensely experimental phase, the two artists became closer in painting style and direction and this artistic partnership continued until Balson’s death in 1964. Grace Crowley & Ralph Balson charts their move into pure abstraction and the significant role they played in shaping the modern art movement.

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5. ~ Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes 2024

Benefits for ANZ customers | Art Gallery of NSW

8 June ~ 8 September

AGNSW | SYDNEY

The Archibald Prize for portrait painting is Australia’s most celebrated and democratic – sometimes controversial – art award. Open to any artist living in Australia or New Zealand, since 1921 it has reflected the unique experiences of the people who live in this region, highlighting figures from all walks of life.

As equally exciting for the diverse entries they attract from across the country, the Wynne Prize is for landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture, while the Sulman Prize is for subject painting, genre painting or a mural project.

The ‘must-see’ annual exhibition of finalists and winners in these three competitions is always compelling viewing.

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6. ~ The Medium is the Medium

Agatha Gothe-Snape Material

11 May ~ 6 October

AGWA | PERTH

The Medium is the Medium || Agatha Gothe-Snape Material is Gothe-Snape’s first exhibition at The Art Gallery of Western Australia and is situated across three of its levels.

It focuses on several key wall works made between 2015 and 2024, a form that represents just one aspect of Gothe-Snape’s output that also includes performance, installation, sculpture and drawing. Nonetheless, these wall paintings each engage with the central concerns of an extended practice that is consistently involved with shaping dynamic occasions to experience how we materially (and immaterially) negotiate pathways through contingent and persistent frameworks of belief, experience and knowledge.

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7. ~ Namedropping

Mona to open Namedropping exhibition | blooloop

15 June ~ 21 April (2025)

MONA | HOBART

“What’s in a name?” The idea has captivated ever since Shakespeare had Juliet ask of Romeo in his tragic tale of star-crossed lovers. Hobart’s game-changing Museum of Old and New Arts digs into what makes the biggest names in the worlds of art and design, whether it’s gleaming sports cars like a Porsche or the surrealist panache of Picasso. Revealing unseen works from founder David Walsh’s collection alongside international loans, Namedropping examines status and the power we place in certain monikers. (Written by Stephen A Russell for Time Out)

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8. ~ Artist’s Palette

Michael Wolfe, Laurie Franklin & Gabriela Azar Schreiner

Mikewolfe23 015425

17 May ~ 4 July

ART LOVERS AUSTRALIA GALLERY | MELBOURNE

The Artist’s Palette Exhibition presents an enchanting experience that explores the interplay between inspiration and creativity, highlighted by Michael Wolfe’s latest “Leanganook Series” alongside Gabriela Azar Schreiner’s colour-rich canvases and Laurie Franklin’s emotionally resonant art.

This exhibition promises an unforgettable voyage through inspiring landscapes, dazzling colour use, and art that speaks to both personal and universal themes. Make sure not to miss this exceptional showcase of energy, emotion, and the impactful essence of art.

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Banner image:

Painting by RALPH BALSON (1954) | Oil on composition board

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