Featuring 86 projects by more than 100 artists, designers and collectives from more than 30 countries, the NGV Triennial will open at NGV International in Melbourne on 19 December 2020.
Exploring some of the most globally relevant and pressing issues of our time, including isolation, representation and speculation on the future, the NGV Triennial will present a large-scale exhibition of international contemporary art, design and architecture.
A visually arresting and thought-provoking view of the world at this unique moment, the NGV Triennial includes 34 major new world-premiere works especially commissioned by the NGV for this exhibition. Including works by Aïda Muluneh (Ethiopia) Alicja Kwade (Germany), Cerith Wyn Evans (Wales), Dhambit Mununggurr (Australia), Faye Toogood (England), Fred Wilson (USA), Hannah Brontë (Australia), Jeff Koons (USA), JR (France), Kengo Kuma (Japan), Liam Young (Australia), Misaki Kawai (Japan), Patricia Urquiola (Spain), Porky Hefer (South Africa), Refik Anadol (Turkey).
An entire floor of the building will be dedicated to works concerning light and illumination presented in dialogue with the NGV’s historical collection; a monumental video work by Refik Anadol spanning 10 metres high and wide, which uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and quantum computing to visualise our digitised memories of nature; and a larger-than-life mirror-finished sculpture of Venus, Roman goddess of love, by American artist Jeff Koons.
Further highlights include a comprehensive display of works by Yolngu woman Dhambit Mununggurr, the first Yolngu artist to depict country in her signature shades of acrylic blue paint. The presentation comprises 15 large-scale bark paintings, some more than 3 metres high, and nine hollow poles that were painted exclusively with the use of the artist’s left hand after an accident left her with limited mobility.
Kengo Kuma, one of the most respected figures in Japanese architecture, will collaborate with Melbourne artist Geoffrey Nees to create an architectural pavilion that acts as a sensorial walkway through which to approach and contemplate a newly acquired painting by South Korean artist Lee Ufan. The work will be constructed from timber harvested from trees that died during the Millennium Drought at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, some of which pre-date European colonisation.
Exploring the themes of daylight, candlelight and moonlight inspired by and within the context of the NGV’s seventeenth and eighteenth century Flemish, Dutch and British collections, interior designer Faye Toogood will curate several gallery spaces creating a considered salon-style interior featuring newly commissioned furniture, lighting, scenography, sculpture and large-scale tapestries.
Also making its world premiere will be a work by renowned French artist JR, which brings global attention to the ecological decline of the Darling River. The work will comprise a chapel-like structure erected in the NGV Grollo Equiset Garden that features a set of large stained-glass window portraits of people he visited in the Sunraysia agricultural region of Victoria and New South Wales on a recent visit to Australia.
Drawing on intimacy and awe, sadness and beauty, ruination and inspiration, these themes present a microcosm of the current world.
Free and exclusive to Melbourne, this is the second instalment of the NGV Triennial, which is held every three years.
NGV International Melbourne Facade, Image Tobias Titz
Credit: Refik Anadol Quantum memories 2020 (render) Custom software, quantum computing, generative algorithm with artificial intelligence (AI), real time digital animation on LED screen c4 channel sound 1015.0 x 1020.0 x 250.0 cm Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased with funds donated by Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund and Barry Janes and Paul Cross, 2020 © Refik Anadol Image courtesy of Refik Anadol
Credit: Porky Hefer (designer) Southern Guild, Cape Town (fabricator) Porky Hefer with Buttpus designed 2019, manufactured 2020 felted karakul wool, industrial felt, canvas, leather, sheepskin, salvaged hand-tufted wool carpet, recycled PEP stuffing, foam, steel 1512.0 x 1512.0 x 328.0 cm Frame manufacturer: Streetwires Felting: Ronel Jordaan Textiles Sewer & pattern maker: M Clothing Assembly: Wolf & Maiden Creative Studio Karakul wool sponsored by Jonay Wool Carding Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased with funds donated by Barry Janes and Paul Cross, Neville and Diana Bertalli, 2020 © Porky Hefer Image courtesy of Porky Hefer and Southern Guild
Credit: Misaki Kawai Arty 2011 Mixed media 400.0 x 650.0 cm Courtesy of the artist and Malmö Konsthal, Malmö, Sweden
Credit: Kengo Kuma & Associates, Tokyo and Paris Kengo Kuma (designer) Geoffrey Nees (artist) Botanical pavilion 2020 (render) Various materials 280.0 x 1000.0 x 1300.0 cm Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased with funds donated by Connie Kimberley and Craig Kimberley OAM, 2020 © Kengo Kuma and Geoff Nees Image courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Geoff Nees