New Contemporary Art Museum for Australia

The National Gallery Australia, Canberra Photo: NGA

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) has opened a new contemporary art gallery on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, Art Daily reports.

NGA Contemporary arose due to the museum’s previously-limited space available to display contemporary Australian art, which was located in a building from the 1980s. The project represents stage one of the NGA’s broader scheme to create a Center for Australian Art. A new wing for indigenous art and a new entrance have already been added to the museum.

Both that much larger project and the new contemporary gallery has thus far been funded by an anonymous private donor as well as several corporate sponsors. However, ABC claims that NGA leadership hopes to lure government support for an additional wing for the museum in the future.

The new space will house approximately a 10th of the NGA’s complete collection of contemporary art. Ron Radford, the director of the NGA said “Our vision has been to develop a contemporary art space so that all Australians can see more of this superb collection ahead of expansion plans.”

The inaugural exhibition presents a wide swath of artworks by Australian artists created over the last 14 years. Those artists include: Tracey Moffatt, Bill Henson, Kathy Temin, Ron Mueck, Patricia Piccinini, Peter Booth, and Dale Frank.

Opening the space last month Radford told ABC: “We’ve got to go beyond thinking we’re just a great economy or a great sporting nation. We’re a cultural nation and our artists lead in this way.”


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