Melbourne / Lifestyle / Melbourne Exhibitions to add to Your 2020 Cultural Calendar

Melbourne Exhibitions to add to Your 2020 Cultural Calendar

Get your culture fix with an arty day at the gallery
Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled 1982 © Artestar

Consider this: what kind of art do you like? Whether it’s painting, sculpture, photography or theatre, Melburnians are in for an absolute treat. Explore the city and its surrounds and prepare to get lost in a world of wonder – these are the Melbourne exhibitions you won't want to miss out on in 2020.

Terminus: Jess Johnson and Simon Ward
Terminus: Jess Johnson and Simon Ward

This mind-bending immersive exhibition by New Zealand-born artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward conjures a mysterious universe of alien architecture, humanoid clones and cryptic symbols that open up via a cyber network of travellators and gateways. Terminus presents a choose-your-own adventure in which time and space slip away, propelling you through cyber narratives that edge towards sensory overload.

From now until 1st March

Tickets $20

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen

Mikala Dwyer, Earthcraft 2020, 2020, Installation view. Image credit: Andrew Curtis
Earthcraft 2020

Taking its title from the old English word for geometry, Earthcraft 2020 is an exhibition of new work by acclaimed artist Mikala Dwyer. Playing on the futuristic ideal of *2020*, Earthcraft 2020 is made up of ten separate sculptural elements, suspended from the gallery’s ceiling. In a parade of static elements, each piece conveys its own narrative and also links with the others to articulate Dwyer’s commentary on 2020.

From now until 14th March

Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 5pm

Saturday, 1pm – 5pm

Free entry

Anna Schwartz Gallery, 185 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Feedback Loops
Feedback Loops

Inspired by web and new media aesthetics, the artists in ACCA’s summer exhibition Feedback Loopsrecreate characters from their past and present in order to imagine the future. You’ll see works that are, in equal measure, unsettling, absurd, fantastical and joyous, expressed via everything from gaming software and CGI to the ripping and rehashing of internet content.

From now until 22nd March

Free entry

111 Sturt Street, Southbank

Petrina Hicks Australia born 1972 Bruised peaches 2018 from the Still Life Studio series 2018 ed. 2/4 pigment inkjet print 120.0 x 120.0 cm (image) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, V
Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic

The first major survey exhibition of celebrated Australian photographer Petrina Hicks, the exhibition showcases her fifteen-year career. Having gained a strong reputation for her enigmatic, multi-layered and beautiful photographs, Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic includes more than forty photograph and video works spanning the period 2003 to 2019. Seen together for the first time, Hicks’s shimmering and often surreal compositions convey the inherent ambiguity and complexity of the female experience. 

From now until 29th March

Free entry

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, Melbourne

Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou

Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou is the first major museum retrospective of Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou (1961–2018). Drawing from the NGV Collection and the artist’s estate, the exhibition comprises photographs of the artist’s daughter Olympia. From her birth (1997) until her mother’s death last year, Olympia played a central role in Papapetrou’s image-making, variously assuming the complex roles of model and muse, collaborator and champion.

From now until 29th March

Free entry

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, Melbourne

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

Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s lives shared many parallels – both irrevocably changed the art world in the 1980s, created instantly recognisable imagery, engaged in socio-political commentary and tragically died young. In this blockbuster new NGV exhibition, 200 artworks trace each artist’s short yet prolific career while providing fascinating new insights into their unique visual languages.

From now until 13th April

Daily 10am-5pm

Tickets $30

180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Joy Hester Face (with Yellow Background) c.1947 brush and ink and gouache on paper 27.6 x 37.6 cm Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne Gift of Barrett Reid 1990 ©Joy Hester/Copyright Agency 2019
Joy Hester: Remember Me

An ambitious survey of the remarkable modernist artist Joy Hester, this exhibition seeks to pay tribute to the woman who produced some of the most distinctive and intriguing imagery to emerge in Australia during the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibition offers new insight into Hester’s practice and traces her trajectory from her formative works and her responses to World War II to her compelling psychological portraits and later series of faces and lovers.  

21st March- 14th June

Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm

Free entry

Heide Museum of Modern Art,7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen

Photo 2020: Agnieszka Polska

Heide Museum of Modern Art will present the Australian premiere of Agnieszka Polska’s work during the inaugural PHOTO 2020. Polska is an innovative Polish artist who investigates society’s shared experiences of environmental and humanitarian catastrophe. Her award-winning video 'The New Sun', features a projection of the sun personified as an animated character bearing witness to the Earth’s increasing environmental calamity.

21st March- 21st June

Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm

Free entry

Heide Museum of Modern Art,7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen

Collecting Comme, NGV
Collecting Comme

Decade after decade, Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons remains one of the most boundary-pushing, influential and relevant fashion houses in the world, known for ‘deconstructing’ the garment shape and reframing ideas of beauty. This new NGV exhibition examines the radical concepts and design methods that have informed Kawakubo’s practice since the 80s, presenting over 50 works from their archives alongside stunning new loans.

From now until 26th July

Open daily 10am-5pm

Free entry

180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne


Looking for arty inspo? Check out our round up of the best places to buy  Aboriginal art  for your home and get inspired by our interviews with acclaimed Australian artists  Dina Broadhurst  and  Bonnie Gray.

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