Your Guide to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Photo of Monique La Terra
19 September 2016

Located in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art was established in 1983 under the Cain Government after a call came from Melbourne artists for a contemporary art space. ACCA’s first exhibition 3 Artists / 3 Rooms was held in the Dallas Brooks Drive building where artists David Larwill, Juan Davila and Howard Arkley were each given a room to paint. Since then ACCA has presented hundreds of exhibitions from Australian and international contemporary artists and launched thousands of programs including lectures and talks, public events, performances, screenings, seminars and more. This is your guide to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art including current and upcoming exhibitions and events.


Designed by the architecture firm Wood Marsh, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is one of Melbourne’s most striking buildings, featuring a rusted steel façade in a geometric design. Inspired by the German concept of the Kunsthalle, ACCA is essentially a shell housing four gallery spaces which branch out from the main foyer. ‘The building is designed to make reference to its function…a sculpture in which to show art,’ architects Roger Wood and Randal Marsh said.

ACCA Facade, landscape view south, (Derek Swalwell): Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. | Photo © Derek Swalwell, Courtesy of ACCA

Current Exhibitions and Events

Chapter One: July 30 – August 28th 2016; Chapter Two: September 2 – 25th, 2016

Following the first segment of the exhibition, the second chapter of Painting. More Painting features the work of more than 70 living Australian contemporary artists whose art reinvents the medium ‘within strict limitations,’ and sparks debate among viewers. Presented across all four of ACCA’s exhibition galleries, Painting. More Painting will also present a series of solo surveys from artists including Teresa Baker, Angela Brennan, Mitch Cairns, Diena Georgetti, Matthys Gerber, David Jolly and Karl Wiebke.

AC_0266: Painting. More Painting 2016. Installation view, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2016 | Photo © Andrew Curtis Courtesy of ACCA

Family Art Day

September 25, 2016, 12:30-3pm

Join artists Tully Moore and Sam Songailo for a day of free creative workshops catered to children between the ages of 4 – 12 and their families. The workshops will each run twice, allowing visitors to participate in both.

The Grand Tour: Cities Shaped by Art, Los Angeles with Annika Kristensen

Monday October 24th, 2016

Exhibition and bar open 5-6pm; Lecture 6-7pm; $35

Take a virtual tour of Los Angeles with ACCA curator Annika Kristensen in a lecture series studying the streets and sights of the City of Angels. With a complimentary cocktail in hand, attendees will explore the cultural significance of this west coast city.

Gerard Byrne: A late evening in the future

October 8 – November 27th, 2016

Inspired by Samuel Beckett’s one-act play Krapp’s Last Tape, Irish artist Gerard Byrne has created a multi-sensory theatrical experience which employs lights, television monitors, video projections and architectural studies to “blur distinctions between past and future, myth and reality.” A late evening in the future assembles 15 years’ worth of recordings by Byrne showcasing his interest in ‘collective history and dramatic reconstruction.’ In addition to the exhibition, ACCA presents Gerard Byrne in conversation with curator Annika Kristensen as well as a keynote lecture. Located in the main exhibition gallery, A late evening in the future is a part of the Melbourne Festival.

Byrne_A thing is a hole in a thing it is not: Gerard Byrne, A thing is a hole in a thing it is not 2010, film installation. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery, London. Courtesy of ACCA

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