The Best Gallery Shows and Exhibitions in Melbourne This Year

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman Courtesy ACMI
Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman Courtesy ACMI
Photo of Monique La Terra
11 September 2017

From the immersive Claymation world of Aardman, to David LaChapelle’s hyper-realistic photos and a never-before-seen anniversary exhibition from the House of Dior, the following eight exhibitions encompass fine art, fashion, photography, film, music, culture and more across seven exhibition venues. Discover something new this year in Melbourne.

David LaChapelle

Headlining the 2017 Ballarat International Foto Biennale is American iconoclast David LaChapelle whose hyper-realistic photos have graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Italian Vogue and French Vogue. This exclusive retrospective will be the first exhibition in Australia by LaChapelle and will feature up to 90 works from the last three decades. Renowned for his unique aesthetic, LaChapelle combines 20th century pop culture references and social commentary to create vibrant and unforgettable photographs. He has also photographed celebrities including Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Muhammad Ali and Hilary Clinton.

19 August – 17 September, 2017

Art Gallery of Ballarat 40 Lydiard St N, Ballarat Central VIC Australia +61 3 5320 5858

Pieta Courtney Love David LaChapelle Courtesy of TS Publicity

Albert Tucker: Australian Stories

A prominent member of the Heide Circle, Albert Tucker was an Australian figurative painter who played a principal role in the development of Australian modernism. This exhibition hones in on Tucker’s portrayal of the harsh Australian outback, a theme he began to explore while living in Italy in the mid-1950s. Fascinated by Australian myth and Australian identity, Tucker’s paintings depict legendary characters including the Kelly gang, John Batman and Eliza Callaghan, as well as anonymous wild colonial boys and outback gamblers.

2 September, 2017 – 6 February, 2018

Heide Museum of Modern Art 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen VIC Australia +61 3 9850 1500

Albert Tucker John Batman and Eliza Callaghan | Courtesy Heide Museum of Modern Art

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture

Exclusive to Melbourne, the National Gallery of Victoria presents The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture. In collaboration with the couture fashion house, this never-before seen exhibition features over 140 garments, accessories and archival material from Christian Dior Couture, dating from 1947 to 2017. Considered the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside of Paris, the exquisite display includes Dior’s 1947 ‘New Look’ as well as 160 bespoke headpieces and Miranda Kerr’s bridal gown. The exhibition also reflects on Australia’s enduring relationship with Dior.

27 August – 7 November, 2017

NGV International 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC Australia + 61 3 8620 2222

Models posing in new Christian Dior collection. (Photo by Loomis Dean//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images) | Courtesy of NGV

René Magritte: The Revealing Image, Photos And Films

Offering a fresh insight into the mind of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte, this exhibition includes 132 original photographs and eight films never-before-seen in Australia. Curated by Xavier Canonne, René Magritte: The Revealing Image, Photos and Films includes rare works from the Magritte Foundation and the Museum of Photography Charleroi. Spread across four spaces within the Latrobe Regional Gallery, the exhibit is divided into six chapters consisting of his early years as a student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, his family and circle of friends, and Magritte’s relationship with his work.

19 August – 19 November, 2017

Latrobe Regional Gallery 138 Commercial Rd, Morwell VIC Australia +61 3 5128 5700

Courtesy Latrobe Regional Gallery

Making History: The Boyd Family

The third instalment in the Making History series, The Boyd Family focuses on the artistic endeavours of the Boyd dynasty within the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibition features the Heide Museum’s profound collection of paintings, works on paper and ceramic objects by potter Merric Boyd and sons Arthur, David and Guy Boyd, including art nouveau-style pots by Merric Boyd and Family Group, 1946 by Arthur Boyd. Works from collaborators John Perceval and Neil Douglas also appear within the exhibition.

27 May – 12 November, 2017

Heide Museum of Modern Art 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen VIC Australia +61 3 9850 1500

Arthur Boyd Family Group c.1946 | Courtesy Heide Museum of Modern Art

Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait

Curated by the Jewish Museum London alongside Amy’s brother Alex and sister-in-law Riva, Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait is an unprecedented snapshot of Amy Winehouse (1983 – 2011). This intimate exposition focuses on Amy’s Jewish-London heritage, her influences, adolescence and close relationship with her family. See her guitar, family photos and her record collection as well as iconic outfits worn by the acclaimed soul singer. St Kilda’s Jewish Museum of Australia will be the only Australian venue to host the exhibition.

22 October, 2017 – 25 March 25, 2018

Jewish Museum of Australia 26 Alma Rd, St Kilda VIC Australia + 61 3 8534 3600

The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity

Wade into a multi-sensory installation at The Ian Potter Centre. Created by the Australian Institute of Architects, the 11 meter long pool makes its Australian premiere following at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity explores the importance of pools within Australia’s cultural identity through eight ‘lanes’ featuring stories from eight prominent Australians including Olympic Gold medal swimmers Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould. Visitors are encouraged to dip their feet in the water and relax poolside.

18 August, 2017 – 18 February, 2018

NGV Australia Federation Square, Russell Street Flinders St & Russell Street, Melbourne VIC Australia +61 3 8662 1553

Installation view ofThe Pool Photo: Sean Fennessy | Courtesy NGV

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The magic of Aardman

Immerse yourself in Aardman’s beloved Claymation world at ACMI and meet beloved characters such as Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run. Curated by French museum Art Ludique, in collaboration with the distinguished Aardman Studios, Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The magic of Aardman invites you to stroll through 50 authentic film sets, including Gromit’s famous vegetable garden and watch extracts from over 60 films. See more than 350 unique objects including award-winning hand crafted plasticine models, storyboards, never-before seen sketches and discover why these Oscar-winning have captivated audiences for over four decades.

29 June – 29 October, 2017

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC Australia + 61 3 8663 2200

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman Courtesy ACMI