What Does a Billion-Dollar Government Investment in the Arts Look Like? Sneak Peek Melbourne's Reimagined Arts Precinct

  • December 01, 2020 16:26

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A bird's eye view of the Melbourne Arts Precinct from Southbank Boulevard facing north (artist impression) . HASSELL + SO - I L
Installation view of David Hockney: Current at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.© David Hockney Inc.
Exhibition image of Yayoi Kusama’s Flower Obsession 2017 on display in NGV Triennial at NGV International 2017. Photo: Eugene Hyland
teamLab Japan est. 2001. Moving Creates Vortices and Vortices Create Movement 2017, interactive digital projection, (duration variable). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne © teamLab, courtesy Ikkan Art Gallery, Martin Browne Contemporary and Pace Gallery
Installation view of Alexandra Kehayoglou, Santa Cruz River , 2017 at NGV Triennial at NGV Melbourne 2017. Photo Ben Swinnerton
Installation view of KAWS’s GONE, 2019 on display for KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness at NGV International, Melbourne 20 September 19 – 13 April 2020. Photo © Jonty Wilde
The new 18,000 square metre public garden facing south (artist impression) . HASSELL + SO - I L

Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) will build a new gallery to present Australian and international contemporary art, design and architecture. When complete, at over 30,000 sqm (320,000 sq ft), NGV Contemporary will be the country’s largest gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design, with over 10,000 sqm (100,000 sq ft) of gallery space. Design will be led by an Australian architectural team, appointed by competition.

The Victorian Government’s commitment to the building was announced as part of a AUD$1.46 billion (more than USD$1 billion) investment in the transformation of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct. A large part of that funding will be dedicated to the build of NGV Contemporary, which will sit in a new, elevated 18,000 square meter (194,000 sq ft) public garden, connecting the new gallery to other cultural offerings in the district. The investment in the Precinct also includes upgrades to neighboring facilities as well as shared infrastructure.

Founded in 1861, NGV is the oldest (and largest) gallery in Australia, and in recent years -- especially under the leadership of director Tony Ellwood -- the Gallery has had renewed focus on celebrating contemporary art and design. NGV realizes these ambitions in many ways including with NGV Triennial (December, 19 2020 – April 18, 2021) . The exhibition features more than 80 projects by 100+ artists, designers, and collectives from 33 countries, including Daniel Arsham, Aida Muluneh, Jeff Koons, Kengo Kuma, Atong Atem, JR, Erez Nevi Pana, Pierre Mukeba, and more. Many of these projects will enter the NGV collection for presentation at NGV Contemporary.

Ellwood said, "NGV Contemporary will be a dynamic cultural hub that all Victorians will be proud to call their own and present an unrivalled opportunity to showcase Australian and international art, design and architectural practice to the world."

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