2017: That’s a wrap!


2017 has been a huge year for both the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). This can be attributed to GOMA’s tenth anniversary program beginning the year, our Family Festival during ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’, and ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’. We can also look forward to strong attendances all through summer with our major exhibitions ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ (GOMA), ‘Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images’ (GOMA), the return of Kusama’s much-loved, interactive installation The obliteration room (GOMA), plus the launch of our reimagined Australian art collection at QAG.

Also currently on view at QAG is ‘Picasso: The Vollard Suite’ which profiles the rare complete set of a hundred etchings and engravings created by Picasso in the 1930s and named after art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard. Recently opened at GOMA’s Children’s Art Centre, ‘Me, Myselfie and Ifocuses on multiple representations of self, as well as hands-on and multimedia artist projects.

QAGOMA’s 2018 program has been recently announced and is equally exciting, including major solo exhibitions of new and recent work by leading contemporary Australian artists Patricia Piccinini and Tony Albert, and returning in November is ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9).

2017 Exhibition highlights

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is an international phenomenon, her beguiling creations and unique perspective have made her a pre-eminent figure in 21st century contemporary art. A focused survey of Kusama’s vast body of work since the 1950s, ‘Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’ at GOMA explores her key motifs, her engagement with the body, and her conception of space.

Until 11 February 2018

Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / Soul under the moon 2002
Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / Soul under the moon 2002 / Mirrors, ultra violet lights, water, plastic, nylon thread, timber, synthetic polymer paint / The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 2002 with funds from Michael Sidney Myer and The Myer Foundation, a project of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899-1999, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and The Yayoi Kusama Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Appeal / © Yayoi Kusama / Courtesy: Yayoi Kusama Studio, Inc. / Installation view at GOMA, 2017
Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / Want to love on the festival night 2017 / Collection of the Artist / ©Yayoi Kusama / Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore. Installation view at GOMA, 2017

Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images

For more than fifty years, German artist Gerhard Richter has proven his remarkable command of almost every style and genre of painting. Exclusive to Brisbane, ‘The Life of Images’ gives a detailed insight into the work of one of the world’s most influential living artists. The exhibition is currently on show at GOMA.

Until 4 February 2018

explore our videos on gerhard richter

Gerhard Richter’s artwork Strip (927-9) 2012 lit up Brisbane City on the William Jolly Bridge thanks to Brisbane City Council to celebrate the opening of ‘The Life of Images’.

Yayoi Kusama: The obliteration room

Visit the Children’s Art Centre at GOMA and enter Yayoi Kusama’s The obliteration room and help us ‘obliterate’ our domestic space by adding colourful dot stickers to white furniture, objects and surfaces in our interactive installation.

Until 4 February 2018

Before the first dot, The obliteration room (installation view) 2002 to present

Yayoi Kusama, Japan b.1929 / The obliteration room (installation view) 2002 to present / Furniture, white paint, dot stickers / Collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Queensland Art Gallery, commissioned by the Queensland Art Gallery / Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2012 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © Yayoi Kusama / Courtesy: Yayoi Kusama Studio, Inc.

Australian art Collection

An exciting reimagining of your Australian art collection opened in Spring. The reconfigured spaces at QAG capture major historical moments bringing the Indigenous and contemporary Australian collections together with the Gallery’s historical holdings. The new display emphasises stories about Queensland and Brisbane from our region’s own perspective.


explore our videos on the australian art collection

Future Collective members viewing Helen Johnson's Women's work (1902) 2017 and Women's work (1912) 2017

Installation views of the reimagined Australian collection

Marvel: Creating the cinematic Universe

The largest Marvel exhibition ever presented opened at GOMA mid year. Drawing on Marvel’s extensive archive of original comic books, spectacular concept art, props and costumes, as well as private collections, ‘Creating the cinematic Universe’ featured over 500 unique objects and never-before-seen set pieces. This QAGOMA-curated exhibition went behind the scenes to offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre-visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists. The interactive elements throughout the exhibition allowed you to delve even further into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

27 May – 3 September 2017

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Installation view of the majestic Asgardian throne room from the Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok 2017, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

Gain insights into Marvel’s production design teams who worked on Thor: Ragnarok 2017 and watch the installation of the Asgard Throne at GOMA.

Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything

GOMA turned ten last December – how sweet! Featuring over 250 contemporary artworks from brand-new immersive works to large-scale visitor favourites, ‘Sugar Spin’ was an explosion of colour, sensation and spinning delights. Headlining the year long celebrations were new artworks – Nervescape, a multi-coloured landscape of synthetic hair by Icelandic-born artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter, and American sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave’s electrifying HEARD, a group of vibrant sculptural horses brought to life by dancers. ‘Sugar Spin’ also marked the return of Carsten Höller’s much-loved Left/Right Slide, spiralling visitors from the top floor of GOMA to the bottom; Ron Mueck’s oversized In bed; and Olafur Eliasson’s interactive installation of thousands of white Lego pieces The cubic structural evolution project.

3 December 2016 – 17 April 2017

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Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir a.k.a. Shoplifter’s Nervescape V 2016 installed in ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ / © The artist / Photograph: Mark Sherwood © QAGOMA
Nick Cave’s HEARD 2016 consists of 30 ‘soundsuits’ made to be worn or displayed as sculptures. In performance mode, each horse is brought to life by two dances who develop its behaviour and character.

2017 collection highlights

Rainforest and mist in afternoon light

The entrance to QAG’s new presentation of its Australian art collection is overseen by the sublime landscape Rainforest and mist in afternoon light 2002, by esteemed Queensland painter William Robinson. This monumental work depicts the Springbrook landscape, part of Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland, where Robinson’s studio was situated at the time.

William Robinson, Australia b.1936 / Rainforest and mist in afternoon light 2002 / Oil on linen / Purchased 2017. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist


Ian Fairweather’s iconic painting Gethsemane 1958 on display in the Australian art collection at QAG, was gifted by Philip Bacon, AM, Special Patron of the Gallery’s Foundation and member of the QAGOMA Foundation Committee. The work from a very important period in Fairweather’s career, will enable Queensland’s future generations to enjoy the work of one of Australia’s greatest artists who created some of his most celebrated works here in Queensland, on Bribie Island.

Ian Fairweather, Scotland/Australia 1891-1974 / Gethsemane 1958 / Gouache on cardboard on board / Gift of Philip Bacon, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation 2017. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © Ian Fairweather 1958/DACS. Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

tow row

Judy Watson’s tow row 2016 installed at the entrance to GOMA as part of it’s tenth anniversary celebrations, responds to the Brisbane River by referencing woven nets used by Aboriginal people of the area. The commission visibly acknowledges the contribution of Queensland Indigenous artists and the continuous role played by Indigenous Australians in the cultural life of this country. Watch our documentary as Watson discusses her inspiration for the bronze sculpture.

Judy Watson, Waanyi people, Australia b.1959 / tow row 2016 / Bronze / Commissioned 2016 to mark the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art. This project has been realised with generous support from the Queensland Government, the Neilson Foundation and Cathryn Mittelheuser, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist