The Best Art Exhibitions In Australia Ending In 2016

3 August 2016

There have been so many stellar exhibitions that have landed on Australian shores this year, alongside our vast homegrown talents; from the National Gallery of Victoria’s Andy Warhol – Ai Weiwei to The Powerhouse Museum’s Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced retrospective. We’ve come up with our pick of the best exhibits not to be missed before they move on in the coming months.

Closing soon:

Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life

A celebration of one of the fashion industry’s most indomitable and influential forces, Isabella Blow. The exhibition showcases the private clothing and millinery collection of the late stylist, who has been credited with discovering revolutionary designer Alexander McQueen.

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, May 14-August 28, 2016.

 Stylist Isabella Blow wears an orange acrylic disk hat. Isabella Blow in Philip Treacy orange acrylic disc hat, 2002. Photo: Donald McPherson / Contour by Getty Images

Rebecca Baumann

An artist fit for the Instagram generation, Rebecca Baumann's work is rainbow-hued pure delight, from confetti explosions to colourful streamers and disco balls. The Art Gallery of Western Australia brings her installation to its WA Focus festival and it's one not to be missed.

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, May 28-August 22, 2016

Rebecca Baumann, Automated Colour Field, 2011. Courtesy: the artist. Photo: Andrew Curtis.

To catch before the end of 2016:

Field of Light Uluru

The Field of Light installation is like nothing seen before in Australia’s Outback, let alone Uluru, where more than 50,000 frosted glass spheres rise glowing from the red earth. Created by artist Bruce Munro, Field of Light is a stunning, must-be-seen-to-be-believed experience next to Australia’s spiritual heartland.

Uluru, NT, April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017

 Don’t miss this once in a lifetime art installation at Uluru, by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. Image: Northern Territory Tourism.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are two of the most famous artists of the 20th century, with Rivera being one of the greats of post-revolutionary Mexican art, defining the world’s interpretation of modern Mexico. On the other hand, Kahlo’s autobiographical portraits have continued to gain popularity and relevance to a 21st-century audience. This exhibition, which explores the lives of the two artists through 33 works and more than 50 photographs, is one of the most prolific art collections to visit Australia over the past several years, so don’t miss out!

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, until October 9, 2016

 ‘An early depiction of Fridamania’: Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait With Monkeys (1943). Image: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art © 2016 Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico DF.

Cindy Sherman

American photographer Cindy Sherman's first major show in Australia since 2000 is on at the Queensland Art Gallery. Sherman, who is known for her conceptual portraits and the way they challenge social conventions, returns with her ‘head shots’ series. The artist’s work is often largely left open to interpretation, however, her constant parody of characters has led many to define it as a commentary on female identity. As one of the art world’s most cult figures, Sherman’s work is not to be missed!

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, until October 3, 2016

 Cindy Sherman. Image: QAGOMA.

Sculpture By The Sea

For the ultimate Instagram-worthy art exhibition, don’t miss the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibit, which returns to the Bondi Beach-Tamarama Beach coastal walk. The two-kilometre stretch each year is transformed into a magical, larger-than-life art space where sculptures by artists from across the globe draw on the beauty of the coastal landscape. For those not able to make the Bondi exhibit, the show will also move on to Cottesloe Beach in Perth in early 2017.

Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, Sydney, October 20-November 6, 2016

 Tomas Misura Splash, Bondi, 2010. Image: Sculpture By The Sea.

Keep an eye out for:

Versailles: Treasures From The Palace

The Versailles: Treasures From The Palace exhibition will open in December at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. This collection of France’s art and history, which has never been shown outside of the country, is set to deliver a taste of the opulence and grandeur of the palace. The exhibit will feature 130 paintings, sculptures, tapestries, woodworks and furniture from the palace, including a formal portrait of Marie-Antoinette and all of the 1.5-tonne marble Lantona Fountain sculpture.

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, opens December 9, 2016

 Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, France. Photo: Myrabella, Wikimedia Commons

Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists exhibition

Every fashion lover will be lining up for days to see this rare exhibit featuring the haute couture creations of Dutch design duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, otherwise known as Viktor & Rolf. The 35-piece collection coming to the National Gallery of Victoria will feature the pair’s work-in-progress, Dolls, showing antique doll replicas in the brand’s signature whimsical creations.

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, October 16, 2016-February 17, 2017

 Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2015 Image: National Gallery of Victoria.

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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.