Best in show: National Gallery of Victoria 2018 calendar

Triennial exhibition

Check out what’s showing at the National Gallery of Victoria this year.

Tony Ellwood
Tony Ellwood, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria

Last year, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) welcomed more than three million visitors (a new record) and became one of the 20 most-visited galleries in the world. And if the stellar line-up for 2018 is anything to go by, it’s well positioned to maintain its leadership position in the global arts community.

Under the guidance of its director since 2012, Tony Ellwood, the NGV has wowed us with Monet’s Garden (2013); Melbourne Now (2013); Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court (2014); The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the sidewalk to the catwalk (2014); Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great (2015), Van Gogh and the Seasons (2017) and The House of Dior: 70 Years of Haute Couture (2017).

While those exhibitions may seem hard to top, the attractions planned for 2018 are just as impressive, and there’s also cause for celebration.

“This year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the NGV St Kilda Road building,” says Tony, “and this significant occasion sets the scene for another year that celebrates the diverse, thought-provoking and engaging programming that has established the NGV as a world-class art destination.”

To keep both traditional art buffs and modernist fans happy, major historical, contemporary, Australian and international exhibitions are slated throughout the year.

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) 2018 calendar highlights

On until 15 April at NGV International
NGV Triennial

An inaugural, unprecedented, large-scale exhibition of contemporary art, design and architecture. Free and exclusive to Melbourne, it showcases major works by more than 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, transforming all four levels of NGV International. More than three quarters of a million people have visited the exhibition since it opened last December.

Further details: NGV Triennial website

*Note 1: See footer for artwork details.

From 15 March at NGV Australia
Colony: Australia 1770-1861 and Colony: Frontier Wars

Colony Exhibition at NGV

Colony: Australia 1770–1861 brings together the most important examples of art and design produced during this period, while Colony: Frontier Wars reveals some of what Aboriginal people have experienced as a continuing consequence of colonisation.

Further details: NGV Colony exhibition website.

*Note 2: See footer for artwork details.

27 April – 26 August at NGV Australia
The Field Revisited

In 1968, the NGV’s inaugural exhibition at its new premises on St Kilda Road was The Field – the first comprehensive display of colour field painting and abstract sculpture in Australia. It was considered a landmark exhibition in Australian art history and in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, the NGV will recreate this significant exhibition in The Field Revisited, reassembling as many of the original 74 paintings and sculptures as possible.

Further details: The Fields Revisited exhibition website.

*Note 3: See footer for artwork details.



9 June to 7 October at NGV International
MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art

The NGV, in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, will present MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art as the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition for 2018. Spanning 130 years of art and design, the exhibition will feature around 200 works from some of the world’s most recognisable names including Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Kara Walker and Camille Henrot.

Further details: MoMA at NGV exhibition website.

*Note 4: See footer for artwork details

Artwork captions:

Top feature image caption – Exhibition image of Yayoi Kusama’s Flower Obsession 2017 on display in NGV Triennial at NGV International 2017 Photo: Eugene Hyland


  1. Mass by Ron Mueck, 2017 on display at NGV Triennial. Photo: Eugene Hyland
  2. Gordon Bennett Terra nullius 1989 synthetic polymer paint on canvas 75.0 x 225.0 cm Gold Coast City Gallery, Surfers Paradise. Purchased with funds raised by Gold Coast City Art Gallery Volunteers, 1989 (1989.43)  © The Estate of Gordon Bennett
  3. James Doolin, United States 1932–2002, lived in Australia 1965–67. Artificial landscape 67/5 1967 synthetic polymer paint on canvas 129.6 x 101.8 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with funds provided by the National Gallery Society of Victoria, Governor, 1985 (AC11-1985). © James Doolin.
  4. Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997) Drowning Girl, 1963 Oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas 67 5/8 x 66 3/4” (171.6 x 169.5 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Philip Johnson Fund (by exchange) and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/Licensed by Viscopy, 2016