On my last day in Australia I finally visited the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
With over 20,000 Australian artworks, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photography and fashion, the collection is one of the most well known in Australia.
The Ian Potter Centre is the home of the Australian part of the art collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), while the international art is shown at the NGV International down St. Kilda Road.
The building itself is worth a visit. Located on Federation Square just off Flinders Station and with a view on the Yarra river, it’s a modern maze of stairs, bridges, glass, steel and concrete.
I love exploring Australian art, as unfortunately it is not very present in European museums.
Exploring the country’s history through its art: the early paintings, often depicting the dry and empty landscapes, some aborigines or early farming settlements.
Then, decades later, the posh portraits of the developing Australian upper class, those who could afford to have their picture painted in oil…
Then, often post war, the confrontation of Australia with its own unglamorous past, mis-treating aborigines, and the developing modern Australian society.
One major new discovery was Jan Senbergs: Observation-Imagination.
Being fascinated by maps, I loved his paintings of Melbourne and Sydney, slightly off, distorted or wholly imaginary.
One map depicted Port Philips Bay today, had the first settlement been at Geelong, and not Melbourne.
Fascinating way to re-discover Melbourne, tilted and distorted, but still recognizable.
You can browse the amazing collection online!