2019 program announced


QAGOMA kicks off 2019 with ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) showing across both Gallery sites until 28 April, APT9 Summer Festival from 18 January, then solo exhibitions celebrating the work of leading Australian artists Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey, Ben Quilty, Margaret Olley, Jon Molvig and Shirley McNamara.

Last year QAGOMA reclaimed its spot as the second most visited gallery in Australia, with combined onsite attendance at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) which positioned it as the 27th most visited art museum in the world.

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The 2019 program will present new developments in contemporary art commencing with APT9 with its emphasis on Australia, Asia and the Pacific – a snapshot of the most exciting contemporary work being produced in the region. APT9, the ninth chapter in the Gallery’s flagship exhibition series, profiles the current work of more than 80 senior, mid-career and emerging artists from countries including China, Hawaii, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Micronesia and Australia.

Following the summer of APT9, we look ahead to solo exhibitions that explore much-loved Australian artists.

Dick Roughsey

Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey: Stories of This Land’ traces the seminal role Roughsey (Lardil people c.1920-85) played in transitioning traditional Aboriginal art from Mornington Island into a contemporary practice. The Queensland artist is a legendary figure in Aboriginal art, well known for his landscape paintings featuring North Queensland ancestral narratives and much-loved children’s picture books, The Rainbow Serpent 1975 and The Giant Devil Dingo 1973.

Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey, Australia 1924-1985 / Tribe on the move in the past, Cape York 1983 / Oil on board / 30 x 40cm / Gift of Simon, Maggie and Pearl Wright through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation 2015. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © 2018 Dick Goobalathaldin Roughsey/Licensed by Copyright Agency

Margaret Olley

Margaret Olley: A Generous Life’ offers an in-depth examination of Olley’s (1923–2011) formative career in Brisbane, her artistic influences and legacy, revealing a deeply charismatic figure, mentor and friend, who exerted an enduring influence.The exhibition will be presented at the same time as ‘Quilty’, the first major survey of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists – Ben Quilty – and a close friend of Olley.

Margaret Olley, Australia 1923-2011 / Allamandas I c.1955-58 / Oil on canvas / 75 x 92.3 cm / Purchased 1961 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © QAGOMA
Margaret Olley, Australia 1923-2011 / Interior IV 1970 / Oil on composition board / 121.5 x 91.5cm / Gift of the Margaret Olley Art Trust through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2002 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Margaret Olley Art Trust

Ben Quilty

Quilty’ includes works inspired by Ben Quilty’s visits to Lebanon, Lesbos and Serbia with Australian author Richard Flanagan, numerous revisions of the Australian landscape, and raw, intimate portraits of the artist himself, as well as his family and friends.

Ben Quilty, Australia b.1973 / Sergeant P, after Afghanistan 2012 / Oil on linen / 190 x 140cm / Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation Appeal and Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Ben Quilty

Jon Molvig

Jon Molvig: Maverick’, is the first major survey of works by the late Queensland artist in forty years and fifty years since his passing. Molvig (1923-1970) spent the greater part of his productive life in Brisbane where he dominated the art scene from the mid-50s through the 60s. He was a charismatic teacher with an uncompromising commitment to painting, and he inspired and influenced many other Queensland artists.

Jon Molvig, Australia 1923-70 / A twilight of women 1957 / Oil on composition board / 137.2 x 148.6cm / Purchased 1984 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Otte Bartzis

Shirley Macnamara

Shirley Macnamara‘ a solo exhibition highlighting the work of the senior Queensland artist features sculptural objects crafted from Macnamara’s signature use of the spinifex plant and its runner roots, capturing the full span of the artist’s practice from 1997 to 2019.

Shirley Macnamara, Australia b.1949 / Erkel (Vessel) 2010 / Twined spinifex (Triodia longiceps) with nylon thread, red ochre, galah feathers and synthetic polymer fixative / 14 x 31 x 25cm / Purchased 2010 with funds from the Bequest of Grace Davies and Nell Davies through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Shirley Macnamara

On Tour: Robert MacPherson

Boss Drovers 1996-2014, an installation of 200 drawings by senior Queensland contemporary artist Robert MacPherson, derived from the much larger body of work created by the artist over two decades will tour to 12 regional venues in Queensland.

Subscribe to QAGOMA YouTube / Watch as we install Robert MacPherson’s Boss Drovers containing 2,400 individual drawings at GOMA / Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. 1996–2014 / Graphite, ink and stain / 2,400 sheets / Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, Paul and Susan Taylor, and Donald and Christine McDonald / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Robert MacPherson

Children’s Art Centre

APT9 Kids features 8 interactive artworks, hands-on and multimedia activities created by exhibiting artists especially for children and families. Offering a rich participatory experience and curated to reflect key exhibition themes, APT9 Kids provides insights into the contemporary art of Asia and the Pacific.


APT9 Cinema celebrates film culture from across the Asia Pacific. ‘New Bollywood: Currents in Indian Cinema’ profiles a new and dynamic hybrid developing from a cross-pollination of India’s cinemas; ‘Contemporary Mellow Dramas’ showcases intimate dramas from East Asia; and ‘Microwave Films of the Marshall Islands’ explores Marshallese life through the lens of a community-based production company.


The APT9 catalogue explores the art and ideas of some of the most dynamic regions in the world, illuminating the work of over 80 artists and projects. The publication represents an important and lasting document of the current artistic landscape of Asia and the Pacific, as well as curatorial frameworks and new scholarship.

To coincide with APT9 Kids, Ali’s Boat has been adapted from an artwork created by Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji. Through Ali’s Boat, the artist tells a story about his past, his family and his relationship with his country.

The richly illustrated book for ‘A Generous Life’ will pay tribute to Margaret Olley’s art, friendships and philanthropy, and demonstrate her ongoing legacy.

Accompanying the Jon Molvig exhibition is the first substantial publication on the artist for three decades, and will feature new scholarship on Molvig’s unique contribution to Australian art.

The Shirley Macnamara catalogue will focus on the beauty and diversity of the artist’s work and also reflect her views on her people’s culture and history and her observations of the natural world.

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Acknowledgment of Country
The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) acknowledges the Turrbal and Yugara (Jagera) peoples who are the traditional custodians of the land upon which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders past and present and, in the spirit of reconciliation, acknowledge the immense creative contribution Indigenous people make to the art and culture of this country.

It is customary in many Indigenous communities not to mention the name or reproduce photographs of the deceased. All such mentions and photographs are with permission, however, care and discretion should be exercised.

Feature image detail: Margaret Olley Interior IV 1970


  1. Nice article, the shows sound like they are going to be great! So many talented artists, love Margaret Olley, reminds me of the artist Andrea Musa on the ATO Gallery website.