The National Gallery of Victoria has hosted some of Australia's biggest contemporary art exhibitions in recent memory. There was the Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei blockbuster that paired the works of two of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, the huge debut of the NGV Triennial late last year and, next week, the Melbourne gallery will unveil a collection of works from New York City's MoMA. But, in the coming years, all these exhibitions could be moved to a new location, as the Victorian Government has today announced plans for a brand new contemporary art gallery to be built nearby.
This is a pretty big deal. The new gallery — dubbed NGV Contemporary (NGVC) — will be part of a major redevelopment of the Southbank arts precinct and, according to the Victorian Government, will be the biggest contemporary art gallery in the country. While it will be part of the NGV, it'll be a standalone gallery, and will be built around the corner on the site of the old Carlton & United Breweries building on Southbank Boulevard. It sounds like the NGV's permanent collection will stay at NGV International, while NGVC will focus purely on contemporary art and design.
As well as the gallery itself, the redevelopment will also add 18,000 square metres of public space to the area, theatre upgrades and new facilities in an attempt to turn 1 City Road into Melbourne's arts hub. The State Government will invest $208 million for the first two years of the project — this will allow the NGV to start planning and raise philanthropic funds.
Premier Daniel Andrews is calling the redevelopment a "once-in-a-generation" project, and thinks it will be a "game-changer" for the city. Once completed, we think it's safe to assume that the NGV will be able to pull even more big names for its blockbuster exhibitions.