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NGV Triennial 2023 is a provocative snapshot of current global issues

NGV Triennial 2023 is a provocative snapshot of current global issues


The NGV Triennial 2023, on display from 3 December 2023 to 7 April 2024, features the work of 100 artists, designers and creative collectives from over 30 countries, all excelling in global contemporary practice. 

The Triennial will exhibit across all four levels of NGV International in the form of 75 projects, all driven by the desire to encourage patrons to reflect on the world and imagine an idyllic alternative.

Featured artists hail from far and wide and differ in a creative specialty. Patrons will see work from Sheila Hicks, Petrit Halilaj, Betty Muffler, Yoko Ono, David Shrigley, Schiaparelli, Farrokh Mahdavi, and many others. 

Portrait of Betty Muffler, Courtesy of the artists and Iwantja Arts, Photo: Rhett Hammerton.

The gallery will also host the world premiere of more than 25 projects in the triennial, and many of these artworks will then officially enter the NGV collection. 

NGV director Tony Ellwood AM is anticipating audiences will relish the return of the triennial following the pandemic years.

“Through the work of more than 100 artists, designers, architects and collectives from Australia and around the world, the NGV Triennial offers a powerful insight into the ideas and concerns empowering creative practice in 2023,” says Ellwood.

Daniel Roseberry (designer) Maison Schiaparelli (fashion house) Look 6 2021-22. The Matador Couture collection, autumn-winter 2021-22, Wool crêpe and duchess satin. Rose embroidery in taffeta. Courtesy Maison Schiaparelli. Model: Rouguy Faye.

The triennial will be governed by three thematic pillars – magic, matter and memory –  and provide audiences with insight into the inspirations and motivations of artists and designers in the exhibition. 

The theme of ‘magic’ represents the influence of spirituality on constructing an understanding of the world around us, whereas ‘matter’ symbolises how nature and materials shape human culture. The exhibition’s theme of ‘memory’ will illuminate how the histories of people, places and objects continue to impact our contemporary world. 

Tracey Emin. Love Poem for CF, 2007 neon 532 x 519 cm. Proposed acquisition with the support of Jo Horgan & Peter Wetenhall © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2020 Photo: White Cube (Ollie Hammick).

Projects range from Polish artist Agnieszka Pilat training Boston Dynamics robot dogs to paint to British artist Tracy Emin displaying a five-metre-high text-based neon light installation of her own handwriting. 

Studio Fernando Laposse will display Conflict Avocados – acknowledged as its most ambitious project to date – which examines the complex ethics surrounding avocado production in Mexico.

Farrokh Mahdaviin his studio courtesy of the artist. The NGV gratefully acknowledges Sarah Morgan and Andrew Cook in supporting works by Farrokh Mahdavi presented in NGV Triennial.

Patrons will also be invited inside the immersive installation Mun-dirra, a 100-metre-long woven fish fence created over two years by 10 artists in collaboration with apprentices in Maningrida, Arnhem Land. 

Tony Ellwood talks of the significant role artists and creatives play in helping us comprehend ever-evolving global crises.

“The world has experienced many structural shifts – the 2023 NGV Triennial offers audiences the opportunity to experience new and surprising forms of creative expression, while also asking how they would like the world to be,” says Ellwood.

Featured Image: Agnieszka Pilat, photographed by Aaron Richter.

The NGV Triennial is on display from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Entry is free. Further information is available via the NGV website 

If you’re keen to check out more exhibitions, Melbourne Now has returned to NGV Australia.


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