MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art

MoMA at NGV Glenn D. Lowry - photo by Eugene HylandIn an international exclusive, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has opened a major exhibition of modern and contemporary masterworks from New York’s iconic Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in the world-premiere exhibition MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Co-organised by the NGV and MoMA, the exhibition features more than 200 works – many of which have never been seen in Australia – from a line-up of renowned nineteenth and twentieth-century artists, including: Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Louise Bourgeois, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Diane Arbus, Agnes Martin and Andy Warhol.

Bringing the exhibition up to the present are works by many significant twenty-first century artists including: Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Olafur Eliasson, Andreas Gursky, El Anatsui, Rineke Dijkstra, Kara Walker, Mona Hatoum and Camille Henrot.

“This exhibition showcases an unparalleled collection of modern and contemporary art and design, which has been collected by The Museum of Modern Art,” said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “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.”

“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, and appreciate such an array of contemporary art and design with greater understanding.”

MoMA at NGV is the largest instalment of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition series to date, for the first time encompassing the entire ground floor of NGV International. Showcasing MoMA’s multi-disciplinary approach to collecting and the breadth of its collection, the exhibition display features works drawn from the Museum’s six curatorial departments: Architecture and Design, Drawings and Prints, Film, Media and Performance Art, Painting and Sculpture, and Photography.

MoMA at NGV explores the emergence and development of major art movements, and represent more than 130 years of radical artistic innovation. The exhibition also reflects the wider technological, social and political developments that transformed society during this period, from late nineteenth century urban and industrial transformation, through to the digital and global present.

In recognition of both MoMA and NGV’s long-standing dedication to the study and presentation of architecture and design, the exhibition explores the deep-seated connections between twentieth-century art and design practice, with a particular focus on developments that shaped Europe in the 1920s and ’30s and the globalised world of the 1960s and ’70s.

Unfolding across eight loosely chronological thematic sections, the exhibition opens with Arcadia and Metropolis examining how artists at the dawn of the 20th century responded to the rise of cities. The Machinery of the Modern World highlights the simultaneity of foundational avant-garde movements (Futurism, Cubism, Orphism, Dada) and references MoMA’s 1934 Machine Art exhibition, while A New Unity presents the cross-media manifestations of the Russian avant-garde, de Stijl, the Bauhaus and Joaquín Torres-Garcia’s School of the South.

In Inner and Outer Worlds iconic Surrealist paintings are seen alongside contemporaneous works that negotiate the relationship between interior and exterior landscapes. Art as Action highlights key examples of Abstract Expressionism and expands to include other forms of kineticism in the 1950s. The exhibition’s largest section, Things as They Are encompasses the varied production of the 1960s and ’70s, from Pop art to Minimalism and Post-Minimalism, followed by Immense Encyclopedia focusing on gestures of appropriation and reflections of identity from the 1980s and ’90s.

The last section of the exhibition, Flight Patterns considers contemporary ideas of movement, migration, and globalisation. Installation and performance works (Olafur Eliasson’s Ventilator, Simone Forti’s Huddle, and Roman Ondak’s Measuring the Universe) will also run throughout the course of the exhibition.

“We are thrilled to be working with the National Gallery of Victoria and its outstanding staff on MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art,” said Glenn D. Lowry, Director MoMA. “From the outset 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.”

“The collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria 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.”

MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art
NGV International, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition continues to 7 October 2018
Admission fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Glenn D. Lowry, Director MoMA inside the MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art exhibition space at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne – photo by Eugene Hyland