NGV Triennial: More than 1,063,000 visitors see blockbuster exhibition

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NGV Triennial: More than 1,063,000 visitors see blockbuster exhibition
Installation view of Bass Stittgen’s work Blood Record on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 –7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy.

MELBOURNE.- The third NGV Triennial has welcomed 1,063,675 people, making it one of the most popular exhibitions in the NGV’s history and cementing the blockbuster series as a major cultural highlight for Victoria.

On display from 3 December 2023 to 7 April 2024 and completely free, the NGV Triennial enlivened all levels of NGV International with powerful contemporary works by more than 120 artists, designers and collectives from more than 30 countries and regions. These included Yoko Ono, Maurizio Cattelan, Tracey Emin, David Shrigley, Sheila Hicks, Azuma Makoto, Agnieszka Pilat, Jean Jullien, Bethan Laura Wood, Thomas J. Price, Iris van Herpen, Diana Al Hadid, Elmgreen and Dragset and couture fashion house Schiaparelli.

Exhibition highlights included never-before-seen world-premiere work Mun-dirra, a monumental woven fish fence which was produced over two years by 13 artists working with three apprentices in Maningrida, Arnhem Land, generously supported by Lead Supporter, Lisa Fox. Also making its global debut was an eight-metre-long bronze eel trap by Wurundjeri artist Aunty Kim Wandin, which was installed in the moat of NGV International.

Australian premieres included Maurizio Cattelan’s banana and duct tape artwork titled Comedian, 2019, as well as David Shrigley’s monumental ‘thumbs up’ bronze sculpture, Really good, 2016, originally conceived for the Fourth Plinth in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square and now acquired for the NGV Collection by Triennial Champion, the Felton Bequest.

The final attendance figure includes the nearly 40,000 visitors who attended Triennial EXTRA, the free after-hours festival of performance, talks, DJs and more which ran from 19 - 28 January, as well as the week-long NGV Kids Summer Festival, which saw over 14,000 children participate in all-ages events, workshops and activities.

The Hon. Colin Brooks, Minister for Creative Industries, said: ‘This free exhibition attracted more than a million people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life – from right across Victoria and well beyond – supporting local jobs, businesses and our economy. Yet another reminder we are the cultural heartbeat of this nation.’

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: ‘The incredible popularity of the NGV Triennial reveals our community’s desire for exhibitions that reflect – and interrogate - our contemporary times, life and culture. These extraordinary attendance figures embolden us in our vision for The Fox: NGV Contemporary, which will become our nation’s largest gallery dedicated exclusively to contemporary art and design – and the future home of the NGV Triennial.’

The inaugural NGV Triennial in 2017 attracted more than 1.23 million visitors and remains the NGV’s highest attended exhibition to date. The 2020 edition drew more than 548,000 visitors, overcoming the many challenges of the global pandemic.

In addition to support from the Victorian Government, NGV Triennial 2023 has been generously supported by over 100 donor families, philanthropic foundations and corporate partners who have helped to fundraise more than $8.5 million towards commissioning, acquiring and presenting the works showcased in NGV Triennial 2023. With this philanthropic support, 80 projects on display as part of NGV Triennial are joining the NGV Collection, creating an important cultural legacy for future generations.

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