National Gallery of Victoria announces 2018 / 2019 exhibition season

M.C. Escher, Day and Night - © The M.C. Escher Company, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.The world-premiere exhibition Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo forms the centrepiece of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Spring/Summer 2018/19 season.

Featuring more than 160 extraordinary prints and drawings by Dutch artist M.C. Escher, the exhibition is presented in an immersive environment created by acclaimed Japanese design studio nendo, intertwining the worlds of both artist and designer in a masterful and enigmatic visual presentation.

Celebrated as a master of optical illusion, Escher created some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Drawn from the world’s largest collection of Escher’s work in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, this expansive exhibition is the first major Australian presentation of the artist’s work and will cover the full span of the artist’s career, from 1916 through to his final work produced in 1969.

As one of the leading design studios in the world, nendo will draw upon their unique design approach to create a deeply immersive exhibition experience inspired by M.C. Escher. Through the ingenious manipulation of geometry, space and perception, nendo’s never-before-seen exhibition design will transcend tradition and present Escher’s work in new and surprising contexts.

“National Gallery of Victoria’s Spring/Summer season for 2018/19 reflects our commitment to presenting a dynamic and full program for our diverse audiences,” said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “At the heart of this program is the never-before-seen exhibition, Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo, which will showcase the consummate skill and unique vision of both artist and designer.”

Presented alongside this Melbourne-exclusive exhibition will be a dynamic program of events, programs and exhibitions throughout spring and summer at NGV International and NGV Australia, including major solo exhibitions by Polly Borland, Julian Opie, Hito Steyerl and William Wegman.

At The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Australian artist Polly Borland will be the subject of a major survey exhibition of her recent body of work. Renowned for her beguiling photographs of noted figures including Elizabeth II the Queen, Nick Cave and Gwendoline Christie, Borland creates images that present the body in surreal compositions, often turning the familiar into the unfamiliar.

The NGV will present the work of one of Britain’s most influential living artists, Julian Opie, in a new Melbourne-exclusive exhibition. Created specifically for the NGV International’s gallery and garden spaces, this exhibition will include a large range of mixed-media works, from large-scale sculpture through to video, showcasing Opie’s signature pared back style, including a veritable city of floor-to-ceiling skyscrapers that have been especially commissioned for the NGV’s Federation Court. Opie will also design a captivating exhibition especially for the NGV’s dedicated children’s gallery.

The NGV will present German artist Hito Steyerl’s landmark video installation Factory of the Sun in its Australian premiere this September. First shown at the 2015 German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale to much acclaim, the work tells the poetic story of workers in a motion capture studio whose actions are used to create artificial sunshine.

Also later this year, the enigmatic work of American artist William Wegman will also be on display. Celebrated for incorporating the Weimaraner dog into his imagery to great witty and conceptual effect, Wegman is a versatile artist whose practice moves between painting, drawing, photography, film, video, books and performances.

Spanning nearly 40 years, from 1980 to 2018, Designing Women highlights the ongoing role of female designers as a dynamic and critical force in shaping contemporary design culture. From fashion design, contemporary jewellery, and product design, to architecture and digital innovation, Designing Women draws from the NGV Collection to showcase over 50 significant works of design – across diverse creative fields – all united by their female authorship.

Awarded triennially to an Australian designer displaying creative achievements in contemporary design practice, the NGV will present The Rigg Design Prize for 2018. This year, the Prize will celebrate the field of interior design and decoration and comprise an exhibition featuring interior settings by ten outstanding Australian practitioners.

A highlight of Melbourne’s event calendar, the NGV Gala – a black-tie ball featuring art, fashion, music, fine wine and food, will coincide with the opening of Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo on 1 December 2018 at NGV International.

“Victorians are once again set for a surprising, immersive and highly creative season of contemporary art and design this spring/summer,” said Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries. “The NGV continues to raise the bar – bringing together the work of some of the world’s best creative minds in fresh and exciting ways.”

For more information about the NGV’s Spring/Summer 2018/9 season, visit: ngv.melbourne for details.

Image: M.C. Escher, Day and Night – © The M.C. Escher Company, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

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