Media releases




News - 2011


20 December 2011

'Facelift' update


  • 42,000 blocks had been removed from the façade 
  • 33,000 had been put back (less have been replaced as block work is still occurring)
  • 2,500 square metres of insulation has been installed
  • 44,000 steel posts have been installed.

8 December 2011

twelve becomes fourteen

The Gallery announced today that Picasso to Warhol: Twelve Modern Masters is now Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters with the addition of works from Louise Bourgeois (American, b. France, 1911-2010) and Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988).

Born in France, and moving to New York in 1938, Louise Bourgeois is one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. Her unique approach to art making came out of a very personal take on surrealism as her prints, sculptures and drawings explored themes of the body, sexuality, story-telling, fear and childhood from a specifically female perspective. She was the first female artist to be given the honour of a full retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1982, and is also known as a vital mentor to generations of artists. Her works that will be coming to Australia include Quarantania, I and Figure.

When Romare Bearden was nine, he moved with his family to Harlem. Making a living as an African American social worker, his work focused on the politics and experiences that affected the people of Harlem on a day to day basis. He is best known for his collage work that he started producing in the 1960s. Such works might be considered to be visual precursors to the cut and paste techniques used by rap artists a decade and half later. Works forming part of Picasso to Warhol include Patchwork Quilt and The Dove.

Stefano Carboni said, “The inclusion of these two highly influential artists brings another dimension to Picasso to Warhol with the artists’ work providing thought-provoking examination of family and social equality, respectively. They are artists who both vitally shaped our notions of what was possible in the field of art, and are thereby truly Modern Masters. While less well known by the public than Picasso or Warhol, their work allows the Gallery to more fully outline the dimensions and impact of Modern Art.”

The fourteen artists are: Picasso, Matisse, Brancusi, Mondrian, Legér, De Chirico, Mirò, Duchamp, Calder, Bourgeois, Pollock, Bearden, Johns and Warhol.


12 October 2011

Heritage Day LegoArt Competition Winner

The Urban Orchard outside the Gallery was buzzing with people on Sunday, all participating in the Gallery's LegoArt activity. Children who went to see Princely Treasures after they built their Princely Palaces all went into the draw to win a Lego prize pack. Congratulations to Nathan Griffiths for taking home the prize.

Winner Nathan Griffiths with his cousins Daniel, Rebecca and Matthew Thomson excepting the Lego prize.


12 October 2011

'Facelift' update

The Gallery's entrance is clean and fresh once again. The entrance restoration is now complete and all the scaffolding has been removed. Works have now moved to the rear façade.


21 September 2011

Lotterywest gives art gallery space to play


From left to right at the rear of the image:
Gwen Gaff, Executive Officer; Robert Buratti, President of Friends of the Art Gallery; Phillip Mitchell, Artistic Director, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and Mariana Atkins, Friends Program Director with marionettes ready to welcome children to the Friends palace and activity space.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day today presented a Lotterywest cheque for $36,162 to Friends of the Art Gallery of WA for activities focused around Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600 - 1800 from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Mr Day said the grant would help the gallery provide a supervised activity space where visitors could enjoy free art activities and performances, and children could enjoy workshops from the Spare Parts Puppets Theatre.

“This generous support from Lotterywest will go towards a series of free programs including touch tours for the vision impaired, artistic workshops for the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as enhanced school holiday activities designed to complement the Princely Treasures exhibition experience,” he said.

“These programs, and the facilitated learning through the breadth of activities and workshops in the Children’s Activity Space, are important in encouraging community participation and connection to the arts.

“Children in particular will be entertained by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s performances and workshops, the first time that Spare Parts and the gallery have worked together in the gallery space.”

The Children’s Activity Space and additional community access programs will run for the duration of Princely Treasures which opens on September 24 at the Art Gallery.

The exhibition is part of the Commonwealth Festival Perth and supported by the State Government. It will be held alongside CHOGM from October 23-30 with the People’s Space at the Perth Cultural Centre open from October 26-29.

  • Grant will provide free community activities for Art Gallery visitors
  • Activities designed to complement the Princely Treasures experience
  • Forms part of the Commonwealth Festival Perth program of events


2 September 2011

The Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Water Corporation receive ABaF Visy Arts & Environment Award

Director Stefano Carboni, Peter Lowe, Josie Tanham with their will deserved award!
(Artwork credit: Grace Cossington-Smith, Teacups: The Harlequin set c1928, oil on pulpboard.
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australian, purchased 1997. © Grace Cossington-Smith 1928)

The Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Water Corporation, on Wednesday night, were presented with the Visy Arts & Environment Award. This award acknowledges the partnership between businesses and the arts that contribute to environmental sustainability.

The centerpiece of this creative partnership is the Water Walk. This self-guided trail gives an in-depth look into the artists’ and their works, highlighting the connection with a range of water themes.

Since 2007, the Gallery and the Water Corporation have greatly benefited from a relationship that uses artistic expression to increase community awareness of water as a precious resource. The shared goal of this relationship is to successfully cultivate and engage audiences, and inspire a vision for a sustainable future. The relationship also actively promotes both the Water Corporation’s community identity and message, and the Gallery’s State Art Collection.

Find out more about the Water Walk here


26 July 2011

Freud's Masterpiece in Perth

Cherished through the world as the greatest figurative painter of our time, Lucian Freud passed away on 22 July 2011. A gifted draftsman, in his paintings like those of Caravaggio, Rubens and Rembrandt before him, paint becomes almost more real than the flesh it depicts.

Freud’s paintings are simultaneously often the most viewed and controversial works in the numerous significant public collections throughout the world which hold his works and/or have presented solo exhibitions, including the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; Museo Correr, Venice; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

One of Lucian Freud’s most significant paintings is right here in Perth and on display in Your Collection 1960 – 1980. Naked man with Rat 1977-78 was purchased for the State Art Collection in 1984. Numerous articles published recently on Lucian Freud single out Naked man with rat as one of his most characteristic, disturbing and outstanding paintings.

“In 1984 the Art Gallery of Western Australia demonstrated real vision in buying one of his masterpieces, Naked man with rat 1977-78. The spreadeagled pose of the reclining model and his conspicuous genitalia, together with the rat he holds in his left hand, are still too much for some viewers.”
From The Weekend Australian, 23-24 July 2011 Freud earned greatness through stubborn tenacity by Christopher Allen

“Much more in the Freud vein was his portrait of a man sprawled on a couch holding a sleeping rat (Naked man with rat, 1977-78). The animal’s tail, draped across the model’s left thigh, nearly makes contact with his genitals, producing an ineffably creepy effect.”
From The New York Times, 22 July 2011 Lucian Freud, Figurative painter Who Redefined Portrature, is Dead at 88 by William Grimes

‘Freud was one of the great figure painters of our time and truly knew how to paint the nude in a luscious post- Rubenesque manner”
Ron Radford, Director, National Gallery of Australia

Lucian Freud's work, including Naked man with rat, will be the subject of a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London opening in February 2012 followed by a tour to the USA.


22 July 2011

Lucian freud dies, aged 88

British realist painter Lucian Freud has died at age 88 in his London home. Freud painted the human figure, exclusively, for more than six decades. His art is renown for its psychological unsettling edginess, often the result of an unusual setting, elevated viewpoint or in this painting below, Naked man with rat, the inclusion of 'with rat'. Freud is cherished through the world as the greatest figurative painter of the 20th century. A gifted draftsman, in his paintings like those of Caravaggio, Rubens and Rembrandt before him, paint becomes almost more real than the flesh it depicts. This was his strength and it created a startling intimacy for viewers. He worked directly from life models, over weeks and more often months, slowly building a tactile, material, painted surface of unusual colours complexity and translucent beauty.

Lucian Freud's work, including Naked man with rat, will be the subject of a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 2012. There are only three paintings by Freud in Australia. The first was purchased by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the second was Naked man with rat by the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the third, After Cézanne, by the National Gallery of Australia.

Naked man with rat is currently on display in Your Collection 1960-1980.

Lucian Freud
Naked man with rat, 1977-1978
oil on canvas
91.5 x 91.5 cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Purchased 1984

Click here for more information about Lucian Freud.

Related Articles
Freud earned greatness through stubborn tenacity The Weekend Australian


13 July 2011

NAIDOC WEEK at the Gallery


NAIDOC Week 3 – 10 July 2011

To celebrate NAIDOC Week, the Art Gallery of Western Australia offered FREE interactive tours and art workshops to visiting school groups wanting to learn more about Indigenous art. AGWA has one of the largest collections of Indigenous art in Australia with works coming from many different regions in a range of styles ranging from the very traditional to contemporary artworks.

Our Volunteer Gallery Guides encouraged the students to look at a variety of artworks, their shapes, patterns and colours and learn their meanings. The students also learnt how Indigenous people communicate through art by listening to the stories about the works.

A tour through the Gallery is further enhanced with an art activity. As part of our Indigenous program, students learn some of the traditional methods of painting and use similar techniques and ideas when creating their own work.

The feedback received from schools who visited during NAIDOC week was very positive and all found their visit to be a rewarding experience. For more information on our Indigenous programs and other Gallery programs, please contact Greg Fletcher on 9492 6642.


Students from Warriapendi Primary School enjoying a tour and art workshop during NAIDOC Week at the Gallery


10 July 2011

Everybody loves a blockbuster


AGWA Director Stefano Carboni talks to ABC Radio National about the Gallery's upcoming Great Collections of the World series and the impact of 'Blockbuster' exhibitions. You can listen to this interview on the ABC website.

4 July 2011

'Facelift' update


The façade restoration is well underway and on track for the first stage of completion by late September. Scaffolding is now in place across the entrance of the Gallery and the Café’s canopy has been removed allowing for works on the Café’s alfresco dining area. You will find some additional seating placed inside the Café and Gallery entrance. Please be patient with our ‘facelift’; it’s business as usual at your Gallery.



1 July 2011

Peac arts challenge day


The PEAC (Primary Extension and Challenge) Day, held on 24 June 2011, at the Art Gallery of Western Australia provides extra curricular learning for gifted students in years 5, 6, and 7. The aim is to give students the opportunity to interact with other students of similar abilities.

The students participate in a series of three art workshops that require team problem solving whilst experiencing original artworks from the Gallery collection.

Now in its 7th year at the Gallery, the Challenge Day has proven to be a very rewarding experience for all involved. For more information on this or other educational programs, please call Greg Fletcher on 9492 6642.

Primary school children participating in the PEAC Arts Challenge Day at the Gallery.


24 May 2011

'Facelift' Update


Last night the metal and perspex covering was removed from the entry to the Art Gallery. Scaffolding is now being installed around the front of the building and around the Cafe's alfresco area in anticipation of the removal of the canopy. Don't be put off by our exterior, the Gallery is still open and operating as usual!


9 May 2011

It’s business as usual at Your Gallery


Essential façade restoration is underway at the Art Gallery of WA.

This restoration will protect the Gallery’s status as one of Western Australia’s great cultural buildings, and ensure your State Art Collection remains intact for generations to come.

The Gallery continues to operate with a full range of exhibitions, programs and events. Our Shop and Gallery Café are also open for business. Due to the nature of the restoration project, scaffolding around the outside of the Gallery building will be in place for some time. We do apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Work will be completed in time for the Gallery’s next Great Collections of the World exhibition Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600 – 1800 from the Victoria and Albert Museum, which opens on 24 September 2011.


18 April 2011

Urban orchard planting and harvest day


Come and get your hands dirty in the Urban Orchard at 9.00am, Sunday 1 May. This autumn's harvest and planting day is the first opportunity for the public to take part in this quarterly event and registrations are now open.

On the day you will join celebrity gardener and media personality Josh Byrne and the City Farm team to help this community garden grow.

This is a family event, but please note that children must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is set to conclude at 12 noon so why not pop into the Gallery's remix exhibition space to hear some of the artist's talk about their work at 2pm.


5 April 2011

Artists chosen to exhibit in country's richest indigenous art prize


16 finalists will be represented in the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2011. The artists that have been invited to participate in the awards exhibition now have the opportunity to share in $65,000 in prizes. The awards comprise a group exhibition of outstanding art and three non-acquisitive awards totalling $65,000: the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award of $50,000; the Western Australian Artist Award of $10,000; and the People’s Choice Award of $5,000.


18 March 2011

The Tom Malone Prize 2011


The Tom Malone Prize was initiated in 2003 by Benefactor of the Foundation of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Elizabeth Malone, and is intended to promote the creation, appreciation and enjoyment of glass made in Australia. Each year, $10,000 is awarded to the winner and the winning work then becomes part of the State Art Collection at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.


22 February 2011

Tenders called for Art Gallery of WA ‘facelift’


Culture and the Arts Minister John Day and Finance Minister Simon O’Brien have today called for tenders for the planned restoration of the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s facade. Click here to view the media release.


20 February 2011

Perth Cultural Centre 'O' Day


After threatening weather cancelled the first 'O' Day a new date has been set! Come and visit us this Sunday 20 February to enjoy, explore and discover the many delights of the revitalized Perth Cultural Centre.

On the day there will be a series of roving entertainers including magicians, acrobats and comedians as well as live acoustic music, face painting and the not-to-be-missed vintage carousel for children. There will also be the Made on the Left markets, giving you an opportunity to peruse a selection of locally hand made wares. So if you haven't been to the Cultural Centre in a while come down for an event filled afternoon and see what all the fuss is about.

Don't forget to visit us at the Art Gallery while you're here and explore Year 12 Perspectives and Your Collection 1800-1920. For more information on times and events see the EPRA calendar.

EPRA Calendar


6 February 2011

Year 12 Perspectives 2010

Year 12 Perspectives 2010 is your yearly taste of art by the best, brightest and most talented
graduating high school artists in the State. An annual barometer of what our youth are
thinking and feeling, it is also a rich celebration of the role of the arts in the development of
individual identities. As can be seen in this dynamic exhibition, the visual arts are a medium
through which thought, inspiration and intellectual inquiry is given striking form. Year 12 Perspectives 2010 is on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia 29 January – 15 July 2011. Click here to view the media release.


18 January 2011

Princely treasures: European Masterpieces 1600 - 1800 from the Victoria and Albert Museum

Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600 - 1800 from the Victoria and Albert Museum is the second in the Art Gallery of WA’s Great Collections of the World series and will be in Perth from 24 September 2011 - 9 January 2012 as part of an international tour. As the exclusive Australian venue, the Art Gallery of WA would provide residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to experience stunning historic treasures that rarely leave Europe. The V&A has one of the greatest collections of European decorative art of the 17th and 18th centuries. Click here to view the media release.



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