THE 10 MOST VISITED MODERN ART GALLERIES IN AUSTRALIA

Over the last few years, Australia art scene has been rapidly evolving into a bustling and expanding scenario. From the outstanding contemporary collections of its museums to the cutting-edge art on display at the many galleries that populate the vibrant district of Sydney or Melbourne, here are ten of Australia’s most interesting spots for lovers of contemporary art.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Outside The Art Gallery of New South Wales
Outside The Art Gallery of New South Wales

The gallery’s permanent collection is world-class, with expansive rooms again showcasing highly varied artworks from indigenous, Australian, Asian and Pacific bark paintings, weaving and sculpture to contemporary and Western installations, photography and oil paintings.

Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns

Elizabeth Stevenson, Visual Arts student of James Cook University reviews True Self: David Rosetzsky, Selected Works, currently showing at Cairns Regional Gallery, one of the many exhibitions that are part of the Queensland Festival of Photography
Elizabeth Stevenson, Visual Arts student of James Cook University reviews True Self: David Rosetzsky, Selected Works, currently showing at Cairns Regional Gallery, one of the many exhibitions that are part of the Queensland Festival of Photography

The permanent collection at this gallery can be described as experimental, with multi-media sculptures and wall-art by the territory’s indigenous population reflecting the consciousness of northern Queensland. There are alternating temporary exhibitions which again are often very modern in style, and range from photography and print to sculpture and installations.

Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne

Outside Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, at night
Outside Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, at night

This not-for-profit organisation consists of five spaces y showcasing the most current and up-to-date photography of the time, including Australian and International works from both new and established artists.

Nellie Castan Gallery

Penelope Davis, Smack installation 2011 , silicone, dimensions variable
Penelope Davis, Smack installation 2011 , silicone, dimensions variable

This highly respected gallery is interested in not only new contemporary artists but those who are established to a certain degree, past exhibitions displayed a very diverse and wonderfully experimental group of works.

Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne

Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia; Photograph, Andrew Curtis
Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia; Photograph, Andrew Curtis

Housed in a vast converted warehouse in the suburb of Fitzroy, Gertrude Contemporary was opened in 1985 and is centred around not only the presentation and exhibiting of contemporary art but the creation of it as well.

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square
Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square

Founded in 1861, it is the oldest public art museum in Australia. The NGV’s Australian art collection encompasses Indigenous (Australian Aboriginal) art and artefacts, Australian colonial art, Australian Impressionist art, 20th century, modern and contemporary Australian art.

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Outside National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Outside National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

As Australia’s largest art museum, the National Gallery’s modern collection is impressive and includes seminal works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, David Hockney and Lucian Freud.

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Huang Yong Ping's work in the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, as part of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), running from December 8, 2012 to April 14, 2013
Huang Yong Ping’s work in the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, as part of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), running from December 8, 2012 to April 14, 2013

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, or GOMA, is a design-forward depot of contemporary art by Architectus and describes itself as Queenslands premier visual arts institution. The Gallery is part of the Queensland Cultural Centre.

Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide

Outside Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, at night
Outside Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, at night

Adelaide has plenty of museums but the first name in contemporary art is the CAC of South Australia. The organisation publishes the influential Contemporary Visual Arts and Culture Broadsheet quarterly, currently in its 40th year of publication.

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

Jeff Thomson, Cows 1987, Heide Museum of Art, Melbourne, Photograph: John Gollings
Jeff Thomson, Cows 1987, Heide Museum of Art, Melbourne, Photograph: John Gollings

Part art commune, part atelier, part gallery space, Heide shows that Melbourne is a high-level cosmopolitan city. The core of the museum’s Collection was assembled over five decades by Heide founders John and Sunday Reed who collected a broad range of art from figurative to abstract, expressionist to realist.