Art & Design

Add Some Culture To Your Life With These 12 Exhibitions Happening In Melbourne This Month

By Ioana Dragnef
5th Feb 2020

Art gallery season is back and full swing so it’s time to stop sweating and start soaking in all that sweet, sweet art (the aircon’s just a bonus). From animal compassion to a virtual reality choose-your-own-adventure quest, there’s no shortage of stunning exhibitions to hit up this month. 

So, grab your buds, a hot date, or even your grandma (have you called her yet this month?) and check out 12 of the best exhibitions happening in Melbourne this February.

The Spent Series | Brunswick Street Gallery

Self-taught artist Peter Gilliland takes you through a series of unique paintings, including dark and dramatic scenes, based on the connection between humans and hunted animals, emphasizing on ‘spent’ shotgun cartridges.

The emotionally fuelled artwork seeks to draw the viewer’s compassion and sympathy of affected animals, echoing the compassion needed for the good of the planet and its continuous decline in species and their habitats. Not one to miss.

What: The Spent Series
Where: Brunswick Street Gallery, 322 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
When: 14 February - 1 March 2020
For more info, click

Can’t Do Tomorrow | The Facility

If you’re going to attend one art show this month, this one is it. Between 20 and 29 of February, The Facility in Kensington will be transformed into an outlandish Eden populated by a crowd more hedonistic than a 90s warehouse rave.

More than 100 artists, crews and collectives will descend on the Facility to display (and distribute) work in urban art disciplines as varied as: painting, murals, photography, stencil, sculpture, video, illustration and epic immersive installations. Plus it’s presented by Urban List, so like, how can you not go? See you there.

What: Can’t Do Tomorrow
Where: Lvl 1/12 Elizabeth St, Kensington
When: 20 - 29 February 2020
For more info, click

Keke Vilabelda: Common Ground | Grau Projekt

It’s time to grab a mind-blowing cocktail and soak in some art because our friends at Grau Projekt are at it again. Common Ground is a hypnotic audiovisual experience—the installation includes a series of paintings, a textural floor intervention produced with 8 tons of local salt and two-channel video work with an ethereal soundtrack written by French musician Etienne Haan.

What are you waiting for? Get to it.

What: Keke Vilabelda: Common Ground
Where: Grau Projekt, Level 1, 2-12 Alexandra Parade, Clifton Hill
When: Until 29 February 2020
For more info, click

Jonathan Kim: Encounter, 2020 | Linden New Art

Encounter features works created during three residency programs completed in 2019, after Kim won the Linden New Art Award at the Helpmann Academy graduate exhibition.

Kim’s practice places deep importance on the relationship between a medium and its environmental factors. The reconstructed structures made of found materials in this exhibition present various spatial concepts based on phenomenology. 

What: Jonathan Kim: Encounter, 2020
Where: Linden New Art, 26 Acland St, St Kilda 
When: 23 January until 23 February 2020
For more info, click

Ben Quilty: 150 Years | Tolarno Galleries

Often dubbed a ‘critical citizen’, Ben Quilty’s new work at Tolarno more explicitly depicts a self-critical citizen.

By the same Quilty who explored the spiritual hollowness of contemporary masculinity in paintings of passed-out mates, 150 years explores a decades-long interrogation of masculinity, through experience, a global and pervasive uncertainty, and a tangible level of disillusionment.

What: Ben Quilty: 150 Years
Where: Tolarno Galleries, Level 4/104 Exhibition St
When: 8 February 2020 - 29 February 2020
For more info, click

Lucy McRae: Body Architect | NGV

How will technology transform the body? Lucy McRae (body architect, designer and science-fiction artist) contemplates this question through film and images in her stunning exhibition at the NGV.

The exhibition traverses the Australian artist-designer’s numerous concerns—from art to commerce, science to popular culture—by showcasing her collaborations with brands, scientists and pop musicians alongside her creative research practice over the past thirteen years.

What: Lucy McRae: Body Architect
Where: NGV Australia, Federation Square
When: Until 9 February 2020
For more info, click

Albert Tucker: Mobile Home | Heide Museum Of Modern Art

In 1952, Australian artist Albert Tucker famously designed and constructed a caravan in his room in the Hotel de Verneuil on Paris’ Left Bank. Tucker lived in his caravan with his partner Mary Dickson on the banks of the Seine for several months before departing Paris for the south of France and Italy with the caravan in tow.

Taking the metaphor of the caravan as a mobile-home as its starting place, this exhibition explores how Tucker internalised themes from home and carried them with him through his travels.

What: Albert Tucker: Mobile Home
Where: Heide Museum Of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen
When: Until 23 February 2020
For more info, click

Earthcraft 2020: Mikala Dwyer | Anna Schwartz Gallery

Anna Schwartz Gallery is closed for summer break but will return on 8 February with Mikala Dwyer’s Earthcraft 2020. Mikala Dwyer works in sculpture, performance, video and photography.

Known for her playful, fantastical installations that explore matter and metamorphosis, Dwyer’s practise has developed through a series of evolving projects, connecting personal biography, site-specificity and research, to theories of the occult and alchemy. 

What: Earthcraft 2020: Mikala Dwyer
Where: Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane
When: 8 February - 14 March 2020
For more info, click

Keith Haring x Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines | NGV

In a world-first, the National Gallery of Victoria will blend the work of two celebrated and heavily influential artists: Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Offering a unique look into each artist’s fascinating visual language, and how they contrast one another.

The Summer Exhibition will also examine the immense influence each artist has had on culture and the art world at large. 

What: Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines
When: Until 13 April 2020
Where: NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank
For more info, click

Gut Feelings | Melbourne Museum 

Gut Feelings has just been extended until 30 August 2020 but that doesn’t mean you should leave it at the last minute. This exhibition looks into new revelations and helps explain how our minds, guts and microbes are all linked, and how they affect our behaviours and thoughts.

The immersive and multi-sensory experience will give visitors a better insight into how the human body works, and how to make your gut love you back. 

What: Gut Feelings
When: Until 30 August 2020
Where: Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton 
For more info, click

Terminus: Jess Johnson And Simon Ward | Heide Museum Of Modern Art

Embark on the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure quest with Terminus. With their pioneering use of virtual reality, artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward have created an immersive installation in which Johnson's drawings have been transformed from analogue to digital.

A mysterious universe of alien architecture, humanoid clones and cryptic symbols will open you up via a cyber network of travellators and gateways. It’s a weird one that’s definitely worth it.

What: Terminus: Jess Johnson And Simon Ward
When: Until 1 March 2020
Where: Heide Museum Of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen
For more info, click

Between Appearances: The Art Of Louise Weaver | Buxton Contemporary

Featuring fantastical creatures, iridescent other worlds, uncanny objects and unsettling organic forms Between Appearances: the art of Louise Weaver explores the multidisciplinary practice of one of Australia’s most significant contemporary artists.

The exhibition spans three decades of the artist’s practice and reveals Weaver’s long-standing interests in fields as diverse as visual culture, art history, natural history, science and design.

What: Between Appearances: The Art Of Louise Weaver
When: Until 9 February 2020
Where: Buxton Contemporary, Cnr Southbank Boulevard &, Dodds St, Southbank 
For more info, click

Strapped for cash already? Here are a bunch of free things to do in Melbourne this month.

Image credit: NGV

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