A selection of major art works from New York’s MoMA lights up Melbourne exhibition

  • Design
  • Thursday, 13 Sep 2018

Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Architect’s Table’ (oil on canvas, 1912). — National Gallery of Victoria.

More than 200 works of art from the iconic Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York are now on display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne, Australia.

MoMA At NGV: 130 Years Of Modern And Contemporary Art, which ends next month, features some of the world’s most well-known artists from the 19th and 20th century, such as Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Vincent van Gogh; and newer names like Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons.

This exhibition of modern and contemporary masterworks, co-organised by the NGV and MoMA, is the largest instalment of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series to date, an annual series of major exhibitions held at three locations: the NGV, the Melbourne Museum and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Over 20 exhibitions have been held since 2004, with exhibits sourced from galleries and institutions from all over the world.

MoMA at NGV boasts an eclectic selection of works, reflecting MoMA’s multi-disciplinary approach to collecting and the breadth of its collection. The exhibits are drawn from the museum’s six curatorial departments: architecture and design; drawings and prints; film, media and performance art; painting and sculpture; and photography.

“Visitors to the National Gallery of Victoria will be able to experience first-hand the monumental change and creativity in the development of modern art and consequently over time, appreciate such an array of contemporary art and design with greater understanding.

Roy Lichtenstein's Drowning Girl (oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 1963).

"We are absolutely delighted to be working alongside The Museum of Modern Art to bring such an extraordinary and diverse selection of works to Melbourne,” says Tony Ellwood, NGV director.

In recognition of NGV and MoMA’s long-standing dedication to the study and presentation of architecture and design, the exhibition explores the connections between art and design practices, with a focus on developments that shaped Europe in the 1920 and 1930s, and the globalised world of the 1960s and 1970s.

It also delves into the emergence and development of major art movements, and the technological, social and political developments that transformed society from the past to present day.

“The Museum of Modern Art has been committed to sharing our collection with the widest possible audience in order to encourage a rich and vibrant conversation about modern and contemporary art," says MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry.

"This collaboration provides a unique opportunity to see extremely important works from nearly every area of our collection in an exhibition that simultaneously explores The Museum of Modern Art’s history as well as the history of modern and contemporary art in general," he adds.

Camille Henrot's Grosse Fatigue (colour video, 2013).

The exhibition unfolds across eight loosely chronological thematic sections that take up the entire ground floor of NGV, starting with Arcadia and Metropolis, which examines how artists at the dawn of the 20th century responded to the rise of cities.

The Machinery of the Modern World highlighting the avant garde movements (Futurism, Cubism, Orphism, Dada), while A New Unity taps into the Russian avant-garde and the Bauhaus, among other things.

Along the way, expect to see Surrealist paintings in Inner and Outer Worlds; Abstract Expressionism in Art as Action; and Pop Art and Minimalism in Things as They Are.

Works from the 1980s and 1990s, brooding on subject matters such as identity, are presented in Immense Encyclopedia.

The exhibition ends with Flight Patterns, which ponders on contemporary ideas of movement, migration and globalisation.

MoMA at NGV ends Oct 7. More info at the National Gallery of Victoria.

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