Previous exhibitions 2014

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Impressions of Paris

Lautrec, Degas, Daumier

8 November 2014 – 15 March 2015

Impressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier examines the major contribution to French art made by these three key figures. A generation apart, each was a consummate draughtsman whose innovative compositions and embrace of modern subject matter played a significant role in artistic developments in France over the nineteenth century.

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Edgar Degas Mlle Bécat at the Café des Ambassadeurs [Mlle Bécat au Café des Ambassadeurs] 1877–78 lithograph, The Poynton Bequest 2005

Gifted artists

Donations by Patrick Corrigan AM

15 August 2014 – 12 January 2015

Of the 28 artists represented in the gift Corrigan acquired works by photographers whose careers were well-established as well as collecting emerging artists, who continue to acknowledge his goodwill and practical support at a critical time in their careers.

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Patricia Piccinini Subset - green landscape 1997 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Gift of Pat Corrigan AM 2010, donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program © Patricia Piccinini

Arthur Boyd

Agony and ecstasy

5 September – 9 November 2014

Arthur Boyd: Agony and Ecstasy is a major exhibition of Boyd's art including more than 100 works across diverse media: paintings, prints, drawings, ceramic tiles and sculptures, and tapestries. The show is not a retrospective but rather provides the opportunity to take a close look at a number of works that have never or rarely been previously exhibited. 

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Arthur Boyd Nebuchadnezzar making a cloud 1968 (detail) oil on canvas The Arthur Boyd Gift, 1975 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Stars of the Tokyo Stage

Natori Shunsen's kabuki actor prints

19 July – 12 October 2014

Stars of the Tokyo stage: Natori Shunsen's kabuki actor prints reveals the dynamic world of Japan's kabuki theatre through superb actor portraits created by artist Natori Shunsen (18861960) in the 1920s and 30s. A selection of spectacular kabuki robes further illustrates the extravagance of the theatrical form.

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Travelling venues
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul, NSW
24 October – 30 November 2014

Natori Shunsen Ichikawa Sadanji II as Narukami in ‘Narukami’ 1926 (detail) from the series Collection of creative portraits by Shunsen woodblock print National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2006

Robert Motherwell

At five in the afternoon

12 July – 6 October 2014

Unlike many Abstract Expressionists, Robert Motherwell was an accomplished printmaker. He created 'painterly prints' with a spontaneity of gesture and freshness of expression rarely seen in this style before. The exhibition reveals how Motherwell created inventive collages and an imagery of gestural flourishes, and is drawn entirely from the Gallery's rich collection of his prints.

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Robert Motherwell, Three figures 1989, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased with the assistance of the Orde Poynton Fund 2002 © Robert Motherwell/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy

Leon Bakst Costume for the Blue God c 1912 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Ballets Russes

The art of costume

A major exhibition of the Gallery’s renowned collection of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes including costumes by artists Natalia Goncharova, Michel Larionov, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Georges Braque, André Masson and Giorgio de Chirico.

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Travelling venues
National Art Centre, Tokyo
18 June – 1 September 2014


Léon Bakst  Costume for the Blue God c 1912 (detail)
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra  Purchased 1987


Sacred gods from Polynesia

23 May – 3 August 2014

The exhibition explores the relationship between atua and art, between spirits and sculpture, between gods and priests, between women and men. It looks at some of the most unique works of art in the Polynesian world and tries to make sense of an enduring mystery surrounding religious objects and their association with belief in gods.

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Travelling venues
Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis Missouri
12 October 2014 – 4 January 2015

Maori Frontal base-board [paepae] from the facade of a chief's storehouse 19th century (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1981


Island of the gods

13 June – 3 August 2014

The exhibition showcases a wide range of works—sculpture, textiles, paintings, architectural elements and ritual objects that will excite and surprise visitors, even those who have journeyed to the exotic island.

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Tenganan, Bali Sacred Textile (geringsing wayang kebo) late 19th century (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1982

Finding your place in the world exhibition

Finding your place in the world

Asian Photomedia

25 February – 20 July 2014 | Photospace gallery (Level 1)

This display in the photography gallery is a selection of work by artists from South and Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Tibet and India. Ten years ago there were less than two hundred photographs in the collection from anywhere in Asia, with only about a dozen Asian-born photographers.

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Pushpamala N. Sunhere Sapne [Golden Dreams]: A photoromance #2 1998, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2006 © Pushpamala N.

Light Moves exhibition

Light moves

Australian contemporary video art

18 April – 20 July 2014

This display highlights some of the newer additions to the national collection as well as the extensive video holdings collected over the past 40 years with monthly screenings of video art from the collection for the duration of the display.

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Daniel Crooks Pan No. 9 (dopplegänger) (detail) 2012, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2012

Carol Jerrems

Photographic artist

Carol Jerrems's gritty, poetic and elusive images show people trying to find a new way of life and action in the 1970s. Her images have come to define a decade in Australia's history.

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Carol Jerrems Judy Morris 2005 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems, 1981. © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems

Garden of the East exhibition

Garden of the East

Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s

21 February – 22 June 2014 | Orde Poynton and Project Galleries

In 1852, at the age of eighteen, Walter B Woodbury left behind his engineering apprenticeship in Manchester to try his luck halfway around the world in Australia’s Victorian goldfields. On arrival, he realised the easy pickings were gone and he took a variety of jobs, soon changing from a rather sheltered British ‘new chum’ into a seasoned colonial.

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Thilly WeissenbornBalineesch dansmeisj in rust (A dancing-girl of Bali, resting) c 1925 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2007