European+American art
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The National Gallery’s collection of modern international art is the largest in Australia, spanning the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. The collections of European and North American art are among the Gallery’s great strengths. Reflecting the diverse creative practices of modern and contemporary artists the collection includes paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, film, illustrated books, design and decorative arts.

On display are works representing the most influential movements of the modern era made by artists of great significance—Henri Matisse, Kasimir Malevich, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Constantin Brancusi among them. Notable among the current displays is an exhibition focusing on the centenary of the establishment of the Bauhaus, an influential art and design school founded in Weimar, Germany in 1919. New acquisitions of both modern and contemporary art feature throughout. Highlights include rare vintage photographs by French Surrealist Dora Maar, an ‘Infinity room’ by pioneering Japanese installation artist Yayoi Kusama and two sculptural dioramas by Jack and Dinos Chapman, founding members of the Young British Artist movement that arose in Britain in the 1990s.

New acquisitions

Special focus

Related exhibitions

Select publications

  • Building the collection Pauline Green, editor, 2003
  • Douglas Annand: the art of life Anne McDonald, 2001
  • French paintings from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier Michel Hilaire, Jörg Zutter and Olivier Zeder, editors, 2003
  • Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican modernism: the Jacques and Natasha Gelman collection, Anthony White editor, 2001
  • Lucian Freud: after Cézanne, 2001
  • Pierre Bonnard: observing nature Jörg Zutter, editor, 2003
  • Rodin: sculpture and drawings 2001
  • Sean Scully: body of light, 2004
  • Secession: modern art and design in Austria and Germany 1890s–1920s Christine Dixon, 2000
  • An artist abroad: the prints of James McNeill Whistler Jane Kinsman, 2005
  • Building the collection Pauline Green, editor, 2003
  • Monet and Japan, 2001
  • The big Americans: the art of collaboration, Jane Kinsman, 2002