Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

10 Most Popular Modern Art Galleries in Australia

It’s difficult to deny that the land of Oz has undergone an art boom in the past decade, the result being that our country now plays host to some of the most respected contemporary art centres in the world. From Perth to Melbourne, the artistic explosion is evidenced in these cultural hubs.

Here’s our compilation of the 10 must-see contemporary galleries in Australia today.
Featured image credits © Kazuhisa Togo

10 – Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

The gallery’s permanent collection is world-class, with expansive rooms again showcasing highly varied artworks from indigenous, Australian, Asian and Pacific bark paintings, weaving and sculpture to contemporary and Western installations, photography and oil paintings.

09 – Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns

The permanent collection at this gallery can be described as experimental, with multi-media sculptures and wall-art by the territory’s indigenous population reflecting the consciousness of northern Queensland. There are alternating temporary exhibitions which again are often very modern in style, and range from photography and print to sculpture and installations.

08 – Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne

This not-for-profit organisation consists of five spaces y showcasing the most current and up-to-date photography of the time, including Australian and International works from both new and established artists.

07 – Nellie Castan Gallery

This highly respected gallery is interested in not only new contemporary artists but those who are established to a certain degree, past exhibitions displayed a very diverse and wonderfully experimental group of works.

06 – Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne

Housed in a vast converted warehouse in the suburb of Fitzroy, Gertrude Contemporary was opened in 1985 and is centred around not only the presentation and exhibiting of contemporary art but the creation of it as well.

Its Complicated by Glen Josselsohn
Its Complicated by Glen Josselsohn

image credits © wiki

05 – National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Founded in 1861, it is the oldest public art museum in Australia. The NGV’s Australian art collection encompasses Indigenous (Australian Aboriginal) art and artefacts, Australian colonial art, Australian Impressionist art, 20th century, modern and contemporary Australian art.

04 – National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

As Australia’s largest art museum, the National Gallery’s modern collection is impressive and includes seminal works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, David Hockney and Lucian Freud.

03 – Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, or GOMA, is a design-forward depot of contemporary art by Architectus and describes itself as Queenslands premier visual arts institution. The Gallery is part of the Queensland Cultural Centre.

02 – Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide

Adelaide has plenty of museums but the first name in contemporary art is the CAC of South Australia. The organisation publishes the influential Contemporary Visual Arts and Culture Broadsheet quarterly, currently in its 40th year of publication.

01 – Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

Part art commune, part atelier, part gallery space, Heide shows that Melbourne is a high-level cosmopolitan city. The core of the museum’s Collection was assembled over five decades by Heide founders John and Sunday Reed who collected a broad range of art from figurative to abstract, expressionist to realist.

Tate Modern Art Gallery
Tate Modern Art Gallery

image credits © Simon Q
If you have the art bug but can’t physically make it to one of these museums, there are some great websites to check out – we love these contemporary art-inspired surf posters and surf prints on Picturestore.