NGV Triennial 2023/24

Launched in 2017 and held every three years since then, the NGV Triennial has staged itself as one of the must see events in Melbourne’s creative calendar. With the inaugural iteration attracting 1.3million visitors, and over 550,000 (including 80,000 children) managing to view the 2020 Triennial despite heavy pandemic restrictions, Australia’s appetite for contemporary art has been well and truly highlighted.

Through its Triennial, the National Gallery of Victoria has cemented itself as the premier destination of contemporary cultural experiences in Australia, an exciting position to hold as the third iteration gets ready to open its doors to what will likely be record-breaking audiences on December 3rd, 2023.

Maurizio Cattelan, Comedian 2019. Courtesy of Perrotin and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York © Maurizio Cattelan. Photo: Zeno Zotti

Bringing contemporary art, design and architecture into dialogue with one another and traversing all four levels of NGV International, the NGV Triennial features more than 75 extraordinary projects that invite us to reflect on the world as it is, while also asking how we would like it to be.

Yinka Shonibare, Modern Magic (Studies of African Art from Picasso’s Collection) IV 2020-21 patchwork, appliqué, embroidery and Dutch wax printed cotton textile 218.1 × 163.6 × 5.5 cm ©Yinka Shonibare. DACS/Copyright Agency, 2023.

Featured artists include: Sheila Hicks (USA), Tracey Emin (UK), Petrit Halilaj (Kosovo), Betty Muffler (Australia), Yoko Ono (Japan), David Shrigley (UK), Schiaparelli (France), Agnieszka Pilat (Poland), Hoda Afshar (Iran), Thomas J Price (UK), Fernando Laposse (Mexico), Azuma Makoto (Japan), Flora Yukhnovich (UK), Yee I-Lann (Malaysia), Farrokh Mahdavi (Iran), Heather B Swann (Australia), Hugh Hayden (USA), Joyce Ho (Taiwan), Shakuntala Kulkarni (India), SMACK (Netherlands), Yinka Shonibare (UK), Tao Hui (China); Diedrick Brackens (USA) and many more.

Lucy Bull, 20:59 2021, oil on linen, 175.3 x 305.4 x 3.8 cm. Purchased with funds donated by July Cao, 2022, © Lucy Bull. Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery.

With more than 25 world-premiere projects commissioned by the NGV especially for this presentation, the NGV Triennial reveals the extraordinary ways in which leading and emerging artists and designers have responded to the most relevant and critical global issues of our time. Many of the works on display will go on to enter the NGV Collection, ensuring the NGV Triennial establishes a lasting legacy for Victoria that can be accessed for many generations to come.

Bonnie Burarngarra weaving fish fence. Photo: Shaana McNaught

Three key thematic pillars of Magic, Matter and Memory anchor the 2023 NGV Triennial. Rather than forming a structure for the exhibition’s organisation and the selection of works, the themes offer insight into the concerns of the artists and designers in the exhibition. The three themes are entangled discourses that flow between and across the projects within the exhibition.

Chase Hall, God is You, 2022, acrylic, enamel pins, and coffee on cotton canvas, diptych, overall: 71 7/8 x 110 1/2 inches (182.6 x 280.7 cm). Courtesy of the Artist and David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Dario Lasagni.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: ‘In the three years since the last NGV Triennial, the world has experienced a great many structural shifts, including a global pandemic. Through the work of more than 100 artists, designers, architects and collectives from Australia and around the world, the NGV Triennial offers a powerful insight into the ideas and concerns empowering creative practice in 2023.’

‘The artists, designers and architects of our time play an important role in helping us to understand, navigate and relate to the world around us. The 2023 NGV Triennial offers audiences a valuable opportunity to experience new and surprising forms of creative expression from around the globe, which, together, present a compelling snapshot of the world as it is, while also asking how we would like it to be,’ said Ellwood.

Yining Fei, Duke of Apple in the Vile Oubliette 2020 paper mache, foam, stainless steel pipe, watercolor, pearls, acrylic beads and wool 135 x 95 x 70 cm. Purchased with funds donated by Rob Gould, 2022 © Yining Fei. Courtesy of the artist.

The NGV Triennial is on display from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Entry is FREE. Further information is available via the NGV website. Main image featuring work by Agnieszka Pilat, photo credit: Pilat Studios.