Previous exhibitions 2016

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Frank Stella: The Kenneth Tyler Print Collection

19 November 2016 – 22 October 2017

Artist Frank Stella and master printer Kenneth Tyler played a significant role in the development of 20th century American printmaking. This exhibition showcases a selection of Stella's adventurous and groundbreaking prints.

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Frank Stella Feneralia from the Imaginary places series 1994–97, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002

Artists of the Great War

29 October 2016 – 12 June 2017

This exhibition presents artists’ perceptions of the Great War: the conflict as it was described in oil sketches and finished paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, posters, books, magazines and a commemorative medal. The display features generous loans from the Australian War Memorial and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, alongside significant works from the NGA collection.

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George Coates Australian official war artists 1916-1918 1920 (detail) oil on canvas, Australian War Memorial

Versailles: Treasures from the Palace

9 December 2016 – 17 April 2017

This sumptuous exhibition is a once in a lifetime chance to see and experience here in Australia a mesmerising period in French history. Included are more than 130 paintings, intricate tapestries, gilded furniture, monumental statues and other objects from the royal gardens, as well as personal items from Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette.

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The Sun King, gate at the Palace of Versailles © Vasyl Helevachuk (Bazil8) /

Mudmen (Ramesh Nithiyendran)

3 June 2016 – 26 February 2017

Mud men, an installation by artist Ramesh Nithiyendran featuring five large-scale ceramic sculptures, commissioned specifically for the NGA. Built on an attitude of agitation, and ostentatious in style, the sculptures appear to strut and shout.

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Ramesh Nithiyendran with his installation Mud men 2016. Works left to right: Pewter deity, Self-portrait with third leg 2, Snake tower, Big idol, Elephant man

Contemporary China

2016 – November 2016

A series of displays of recent art from Asia with a focus on contemporary Chinese art. This survey explores issues of culture, identity and resistance.

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Zhang Huan Family Tree (detail) 2000 C-type prints. Suite of 9 images. Collection: Gene & Brian Sherman, Sydney. Image courtesy the artist

Mike Parr: Foreign Looking

12 August – 6 November 2016

Mike Parr is one of Australia's most provocative and influential artists. This is the first exhibition to bring together works in all media across Parr's voraciously experimental practice from 1970 to the present, including performance, film, sculpture and photography.

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Mike Parr (artist) Paul Green (photographer) The Sickness Unto Death (detail) Sydney, 2015, image courtesy of the artist

Heather B. Swann: Nervous

18 August – 20 November 2016

Heather B. Swann's Nervous is live performance and art installation, creating a multidisciplinary arts experience of intense emotional states.

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Artist Heather B. Swann at work in her studio 2016 © Heather B. Swann

Diane Arbus

3 June – 30 October 2016

The photographs of Diane Arbus (1923–1971) are powerful allegories of postwar America. Once seen they are rarely forgotten. Contemporary audiences found the way that Arbus approached the genre of portraiture confronting and her work continues to polarise opinion. The images raise difficult, uncomfortable questions concerning the intent of the photographer.

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Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time

22 April – 10 July 2016

Installation from the 2015 Venice Biennale by Australian artist Fiona Hal, brings together hundreds of disparate elements which find alignments and create tensions around three intersecting concerns: global politics, world finances and the environment.

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Fiona Hall Wrong Way Time 2012–15 (detail), enamel on cuckoo clock. Photo: Clayton Glen

Previous travelling exhibitions 2016

Light moves: Contemporary Australian video art

2015 – 27 August 2017

Bodies of all kinds moving in space. This phenomenon has been explored in a myriad of ways by artists ever since video art took off as an exciting new development in the 1960s.

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

Max & Olive: The photography life of Olive Cotton and Max Dupain

March 2016 – 10 July 2017

This is the first exhibition to look at the work of photographers Olive Cotton and Max Dupain, as they shared their lives, studio and professional practice. It looks at their work made between 1934 and 1945.

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Max Dupain Sunbaker 1937, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Gift of the Philip Morris Arts Grant 1982

William Kentridge: Drawn from Africa

17 January – 26 June 2016

William Kentridge (born 1955) is a major figure in contemporary art, who has established an international reputation as a gifted figurative artist. Working in the tradition of William Hogarth and Honoré Daumier, Kentridge explores themes of the society in which he lives, but in a particularly subtle way.

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William Kentridge Nose 18 2009 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, The Poynton Bequest, 2010