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The NGV's Famed Friday Night Parties Return Next Month For a Picasso-Inspired Winter Season

This time around, NGV's weekly serve of after-hours fun features eats by Bar Lourinha, tunes, pop-up bars and access to the blockbuster exhibition 'The Picasso Century'.
By Libby Curran
May 10, 2022
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By Libby Curran
May 10, 2022
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Like much of Melbourne, the NGV is slowly recalibrating, returning to its regular pre-COVID programming. And like before, that means that as the temperatures dip, the gallery's gearing up to kick off a fresh winter season of its ever-popular NGV Friday Nights. Off the back of a busy summer run, the precinct will continue to prove it knows how to party like the best of them, via a new season of after-hours shindigs filled with tunes, food, pop-up bars and more.

NGV Friday Nights are set to make a sweet return from June 10, running every Friday night until October 7. And this time around, the offering's inspired by the coinciding Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, The Picasso Century.

Ben Swinnerton

Happening from 6–10pm each week, the sessions have something for gallery-lovers and general night owls alike. Guests will gain exclusive after-hours access to explore The Picasso Century at their leisure, browsing over 70 works by the Spanish artist, along with 100-plus others from over 50 of his contemporaries — including Dalí, Matisse and Gertrude Stein.

The late-night art appreciation will be backed by a program of eats, drinks and music that nods both to Picasso's Spanish heritage and the creative Parisian community he called home in the early 1900s. A rotation of top artists is set to deliver a sparkling soundtrack to these soirees, ranging from instrumental jazz-funk acts to dance floor-bumping DJs. On the lineup, you'll find favourites including future soul star NGAIIRE, Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan performing with The Putbacks, DJ Harvey Sutherland, Solomon Sisay, Hobsons Bay Coast Guard, Pjenne and a whole host more.

Burrata and piperrada at Bar Lourinhã, by Jo Gamvros

Meanwhile, taking over the NGV's Garden Restaurant for your Friday night feasting needs (plus a daily lunch service) is long-running legend Bar Lourinhã. Expect modern riffs on classic Spanish fare, from jamon croquetas and gildas, to manzanilla-braised beef cheeks. Plus plenty of cocktails, sherry and wine, of course.

NGV's Garden Terrace bar will be getting into the spirit with cosy blankets and mulled wine. And two other pop-up bars will be serving a hefty array of liquid refreshments and Mediterranean eats — swing past the Pommery Champagne Bar for fine bubbles and empanadas, or hit the Yering Station pop-up to sample a selection of acclaimed Yarra Valley wines alongside churros and Basque cheesecake.

NGV Friday Nights will run weekly from June 10–October 7 at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Jump online to see the full lineup and book tickets.

Top Images: NGV Friday Nights, by Eugene Hyland. Thandi Phoenix performing at NGV, by Tim Carrafa.

Published on May 10, 2022 by Libby Curran
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