Contemporary art in Melbourne

Melbourne
Art Guide

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Melbourne galleries
featured on Ocula

Ocula Member Galleries are selected by a committee of respected gallerists to present only the best of contemporary art on Ocula.

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The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung People are the traditional owners of the land on which Naarm (Melbourne) resides. Today the city has a diverse population and is widely regarded as the arts and cultural hub of Australia, offering a vibrant array of contemporary art experiences across the city's leading galleries and museums on both sides of the Yarra River. Established and emerging talents from the region and beyond have based themselves in Victoria state's capital, a haven for artists with its close-knit network, visionary architecture, and diverse population of over five million.

Situated along Exhibition Street is Tolarno Galleries, a long-standing institution known for its focus on contemporary Australian art. With a diverse roster of artists, the gallery exhibits engaging and innovative works that explore social, political, and cultural themes.

On Gertrude Street in Fitzroy is THIS IS NO FANTASY, established in 2010 by Dianne Tanzer and Nicola Stein. The gallery supports a select group of artists recognised for shaping contemporary art discourse in Australia and internationally.

In South Melbourne is 1301SW, representing contemporary and historical Australian and international artists. Founded in 2022 by Brian Butler (1301PE, Los Angeles) and Dominic Feuchs (Starkwhite, Auckland), the gallery's stable of artists includes Billy Apple, Mikala Dwyer, Fiona Pardington, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, among others.

1301SW contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia
1301SW Current Exhibition:
Tim Bučković
Map
THIS IS NO FANTASY contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia
THIS IS NO FANTASY Current Exhibition:
Joel Arthur
Map
Tolarno Galleries contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia
Tolarno Galleries Current Exhibition:
Amos Gebhardt
Map

Melbourne exhibitions
featured on Ocula

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Explore current and upcoming exhibitions across Melbourne's best galleries, institutions, and non-profit art spaces.

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Melbourne's art spaces have hosted significant exhibitions by important Australian and international artists. Solo exhibitions include Ben Quilty's Shadowed (2023) and Brent Harris' Monkey Business (2022), both at Tolarno Galleries. THIS IS NO FANTASY has presented solo exhibitions of artists such as Jo Plank, Neil Haddon, Victoria Reichelt, and Simon Degroot. In South Melbourne, 1301SW has presented solo shows of artists including Alicia Frankovich, Jonny Niesche, and Petra Cortright.

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Melbourne Institutions
and Non-Profits

Melbourne's museums and institutions offer an exceptional arts and culture experience. Explore our selection of the best spaces to visit.

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Situated in the heart of Melbourne is the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia's oldest and most visited art museum founded in 1861. Its expansive collection of over 76,000 works includes local and international artists. Across two buildings—NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia—the gallery hosts major exhibitions and events that celebrate the diversity and evolution of arts and culture. In 2017, the NGV launched the inaugural NGV Triennial.

Nearby in Southbank is the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), a leading contemporary art institution founded in 1983 that fosters critical thinking and experimentation. Dedicated to contemporary art in all its forms, ACCA presents dynamic exhibitions that explore contemporary issues, push boundaries, and challenge perceptions in a spectacular red-rust building designed by Wood Marsh.

Set amidst picturesque gardens in Bulleen, the Heide Museum of Modern Art is a treasure trove showcasing an impressive collection of modern and contemporary Australian art alongside a sculpture garden. The collection includes works by influential artists such as Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Federation Square is a museum dedicated to the moving image and explores the intersection of art and technology through exhibitions, film screenings, installations, and interactive experiences, offering a unique perspective on the evolving art and media landscape.

Melbourne's strong reputation for art education is evidenced in its university galleries. Launched in 2018 with a major gift from collector Michael Buxton to the University of Melbourne is Buxton Contemporary, a contemporary Australian art museum located on the university's Southbank campus. Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) is housed at Monash University's Caulfield Campus and presents an engaging programme of contemporary art exhibitions.

Another notable space is Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, which houses a strong exhibition programme outside of the city centre in a heritage-listed building, and the dynamic contemporary non-profit gallery and studio complex Gertrude Contemporary, which supports emerging and mid-career artists. Located in Preston South, with its satellite space Gertrude Glasshouse set in Collingwood, the gallery fosters experimental practices and facilitates engaging dialogues between artists and the wider community.

Melbourne
in Ocula Magazine

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Ocula Magazine is an online platform dedicated to publishing the best in contemporary art internationally. Explore our in-depth conversations, insights, features, news stories, and photologs covering the Melbourne arts scene here.

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Since its launch in 2010, Ocula Magazine has interviewed some of Melbourne's most significant artists, gallerists, and curators including Bill Henson Dianne Tanzer, Andy Dinan, Barry Keldoulis, and Natalie King. Ocula Magazine has also published features of Melbourne-based artists and artists who have held major exhibitions in the city such as Patricia Piccinini, Jess Johnson, and Yhonnie Scarce.

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Ocula Advisory
on Melbourne

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Gain in-depth insights into the art market with Ocula Advisory, our service for collectors wishing to build and manage their collections.

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Led by Ocula's founder Simon Fisher, Ocula Advisory assists new and established collectors in growing and managing their collections.

With 40+ years of combined experience and extensive relationships with galleries, auction houses, art dealers, and collectors, Ocula Advisory has exceptional knowledge of modern and contemporary art, as well as market trends.

Follow Advisory Picks, Perspectives, and Selections for must-see art in Melbourne and Australia.

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Artists on show
in Melbourne

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In any given week, you can see the work of some of the world's most exciting artists in Melbourne. Here you will find a selection of artists who are currently exhibiting in the city.

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Sign up to My Ocula to follow artists and galleries, save artworks to your favourites, and be informed when new exhibitions and features are published.

Melbourne has propelled the careers of Australian and international artists, with its renowned galleries and museums providing a global stage for seminal exhibitions. Artists who have recently held major exhibitions in the city include Mithu Sen, Tom Nicholson, Jeremy Deller, Camille Henrot, and Shirin Neshat.

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Artworks
in Melbourne

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Browse artworks available from Melbourne galleries on Ocula.

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Sign up to My Ocula to follow artists and galleries, save artworks to your favourites, and be informed when new artworks become available.

Wallaby by Amos Gebhardt contemporary artwork photography
Amos Gebhardt Wallaby, 2023 Fujitrans on backlit LED lightbox
76 x 95 cm
Tolarno Galleries Request Price & Availability
Speckled maskray by Amos Gebhardt contemporary artwork photography
Amos Gebhardt Speckled maskray, 2023 Fujitrans on backlist LED lightbox
72 x 90 x 8 cm
Tolarno Galleries Request Price & Availability
The Lunar and the Social Path by Joel Arthur contemporary artwork painting
Joel Arthur The Lunar and the Social Path, 2023 Oil on linen
92 x 81 cm
THIS IS NO FANTASY Request Price & Availability
Bolus by Elizabeth Willing contemporary artwork sculpture
Elizabeth Willing Bolus, 2023 Hand carved, reclaimed spotted gum
185 x 215 x 12 cm
Tolarno Galleries Request Price & Availability
crescent by Tim Bučković contemporary artwork painting
Tim Bučković crescent, 2023 Oil on linen
26 x 51.5 cm
1301SW Request Price & Availability
Prometheus Cinema (Pripyat, 2019) by Yhonnie Scarce contemporary artwork photography
Yhonnie Scarce Prometheus Cinema (Pripyat, 2019), 2024 Photographic print on Ilford Galerie Fibre Pearl
110 x 170 cm
THIS IS NO FANTASY Request Price & Availability
The Liquid Night by Bill Henson contemporary artwork photography, print
Bill Henson The Liquid Night, 1989 Archival inkjet pigment print
180 x 127 cm
Tolarno Galleries Request Price & Availability
Large Stripe by Don Driver contemporary artwork textile
Don Driver Large Stripe, 1977 Mixed media on banner
174 x 283 cm
1301SW Request Price & Availability
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Events
in Melbourne

Melbourne hosts some of Australia's most exciting arts and culture events throughout the year, including art fairs, festivals, biennials, and triennials.

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Melbourne hosts a number of art fairs including the biennial Melbourne Art Fair, with its permanent home now at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Wharf. Started in 1988 by a group of galleries, Melbourne Art Fair continues to support Australasian contemporary artists on a world-class stage.

Located 45 kilometres northeast of central Melbourne, the TarraWarra Museum of Art hosts the TarraWarra Biennial. Inaugurated in 2006, the biennial serves as an experimental curatorial platform for contemporary Australian art.

Inaugurated in 2021 is RISING, Melbourne's major new arts, culture, and food festival, with events, performances, and installations set in locations across the city including at Flinders Street Station and St Paul's Cathedral.

NGV Triennial takes place every three years, spanning NGV's vast spaces to showcase art, design, and architecture at the forefront of contemporary practice from around the world. The inaugural NGV Triennial (2017–2018) attracted nearly 1.3 million visitors, making it the NGV's most-visited exhibition in its 157-year history.

Other notable cultural events include Next Wave, a biennial festival established in 1984 that provides a platform for emerging artists, producers, and curators to share and develop their work. Next Wave has its home base at the Brunswick Mechanics. In the Queen Victoria Gardens is MPavilion, Australia's leading architecture commission. The 2023 MPavilion designer is Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

22–25 February 2024 Melbourne Art Fair

Naarm (Melbourne) is widely regarded as the arts and cultural hub of Australia, offering a vibrant array of contemporary art experiences across the city's leading galleries and museums on both sides of the Yarra River. Established and emerging talents from the region and beyond have based themselves in Victoria state's capital, a haven for artists with its close-knit network, visionary architecture, and diverse population of over five million. The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung People are the traditional owners of the land on which the city resides.

Read More

Situated along Exhibition Street is Tolarno Galleries, a long-standing institution known for its focus on contemporary Australian art. With a diverse roster of artists, the gallery exhibits engaging and innovative works that explore social, political, and cultural themes.

On Gertrude Street in Fitzroy is THIS IS NO FANTASY, established in 2010 by Dianne Tanzer and Nicola Stein. The gallery supports a select group of artists recognised for shaping contemporary art discourse in Australia and internationally.

In South Melbourne is 1301SW, founded in 2022 by Brian Butler (1301PE, Los Angeles) and Dominic Feuchs (Starkwhite, Auckland). Representing contemporary and historical Australian and international artists, the gallery's stable includes Mikala Dwyer, Fiona Pardington, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, among others.

Situated in the heart of Melbourne is the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia's oldest and most visited art museum founded in 1861. Its expansive collection of over 76,000 works includes local and international artists. Across two buildings—NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia—the gallery hosts major exhibitions and events that celebrate the diversity and evolution of arts and culture. In 2017, the NGV launched the inaugural NGV Triennial.

Nearby in Southbank is the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), a leading contemporary art institution founded in 1983 that fosters critical thinking and experimentation. Dedicated to contemporary art in all its forms, ACCA presents dynamic exhibitions that explore contemporary issues, push boundaries, and challenge perceptions in a spectacularly designed red-rust building designed by Wood Marsh.

Set amidst picturesque gardens in Bulleen, the Heide Museum of Modern Art is a treasure trove showcasing an impressive collection of modern and contemporary Australian art alongside a sculpture garden. The collection includes works by influential artists such as Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Federation Square is a museum dedicated to the moving image and explores the intersection of art and technology through exhibitions, film screenings, installations, and interactive experiences, offering a unique perspective on the evolving art landscape.

Melbourne's strong reputation for art education is evidenced in its university galleries. Launched in 2018 with a major gift from collector Michael Buxton to the University of Melbourne is Buxton Contemporary, a contemporary Australian art museum located on the university's Southbank campus. Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) is housed at Monash University's Caulfield Campus and presents an engaging programme of contemporary art exhibitions.

Another notable space is Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, which houses a strong exhibition programme outside of the city centre in a heritage-listed building, and the dynamic contemporary non-profit gallery and studio complex Gertrude Contemporary, which supports emerging and mid-career artists. Located in Preston South, with its satellite space Gertrude Glasshouse set in Collingwood, the gallery fosters experimental practices and facilitates engaging dialogues between artists and the wider community.

Melbourne also hosts some of Australia's most exciting arts and culture events throughout the year, including art fairs, festivals, biennials, and triennials. The biennial Melbourne Art Fair now has its permanent home at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Wharf. Started in 1988 by a group of galleries, Melbourne Art Fair continues to support Australasian contemporary artists on a world-class stage.

Located 45 kilometres northeast of central Melbourne, the TarraWarra Museum of Art hosts the TarraWarra Biennial. Inaugurated in 2006, the biennial serves as an experimental curatorial platform for contemporary Australian art.

Inaugurated in 2021 is RISING, Melbourne's major new arts, culture, and food festival, with events, performances, and installations set in locations across the city including at Flinders Street Station and St Paul's Cathedral.

NGV Triennial takes place every three years, spanning NGV's vast spaces to showcase art, design, and architecture at the forefront of contemporary practice from around the world. The inaugural NGV Triennial (2017–2018) attracted nearly 1.3 million visitors, making it the NGV's most-visited exhibition in its 157-year history.

Other notable cultural events include Next Wave, a biennial festival established in 1984 that provides a platform for emerging artists, producers, and curators to share and develop their work. Next Wave has its home base at the Brunswick Mechanics. In the Queen Victoria Gardens is MPavilion, Australia's leading architecture commission. The 2023 MPavilion designer is Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Image: Fitzroy, Melbourne. Photo: Marcus Bichel Lindegaard (CC BY 2.0).

1301SW
4 George St, South Melbourne
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Tim Bučković
16 March–27 April 2024
THIS IS NO FANTASY
108 - 110 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Joel Arthur
Plots and Grounds
18 April–18 May 2024
Tolarno Galleries
104 Exhibition Street, Level 4
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Amos Gebhardt
In memory of stars
13 April–11 May 2024
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art | ACCA
111 Sturt Street
Southbank
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Laure Prouvost
Oui Move In You
23 March 2023–10 June 2024
Australian Centre for the Moving Image | ACMI
Federation Square, Flinders Street
Melbourne
Buxton Contemporary
The University of Melbourne
Corner Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street
Southbank
Melbourne Upcoming Exhibition:Group Exhibition
THE SAME CROWD NEVER GATHERS TWICE
10 May–13 October 2024
Centre for Contemporary Photography | CCP
404 George Street
Fitzroy
Melbourne
Gertrude Contemporary
21 - 31 High Street
Preston South, VIC
Melbourne
Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road
Bulleen
Melbourne
Ian Potter Museum of Art | University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne
Swanston Street
Parkville
Melbourne
Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA
Ground Floor, Building F Monash University Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road Caulfield East
Melbourne
NGV | National Gallery of Victoria
180 St Kilda Rd
Melbourne
Science Gallery Melbourne
700 Swanston Street
Parkville
(Entry via Grattan Street)
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Group Exhibition
Not Natural
17 February–29 June 2024
Seventh
215 Church Street
Quo-Yung / Richmond
VIC
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Sarah Drinan
The Reclamation
3–26 April 2024
Tarrawarra Museum of Art
311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road
Healesville
Melbourne
West Space
Level 1
225 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria
Melbourne Current Exhibition:Melissa Nguyen
Water Street by Night
2 March–27 April 2024
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