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Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane / © QAGOMA Photography
8 OCTOBER 2013
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines today presented his vision for the Brisbane Gallery’s future.

Mr Saines returned to the Gallery in April, having previously worked there from 1984 to 1996, after 17 years as Director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tãmaki, New Zealand.

Mr Saines said his ambition was for QAGOMA to become the leading museum for the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

He said the Gallery would use its own considerable expertise to generate major exhibitions and tour them regionally, nationally and internationally; and confirmed the Gallery’s emphasis on contemporary art with a series of exhibitions of international master artists.

‘We will re-energise QAG with new Collection configurations and major exhibitions, but most significantly through the development of a multi-purpose interactive social and learning environment for audiences of all ages, drawing on the Gallery’s internationally recognised expertise in children’s experiential programming,’ he said.

‘We will become a major producer of blockbuster exhibitions, building on our 20 years’ experience presenting Australia’s most important visual art event, ‘The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’.

Mr Saines reaffirmed the Gallery’s commitment to the APT, its flagship exhibition series, announcing a number of innovations and changes to the eighth in the series in 2015–16.

‘Central to our vision is the Collection – developing it through the work of the Foundation and our wonderful benefactors, and curating and touring major Collection exhibitions.

‘We will re-envision the focus in each of our venues, with QAG housing the historical Australian and international collections and a prominent permanent display of Indigenous Australian holdings; and a more permanent Collection presence at GOMA, including historical and contemporary Asian collection displays,’ Mr Saines said.

‘As part of a commitment to working with significant living artists, I am delighted to announce the first substantial Australian exhibition of work by one of the most important painters of the 20th and 21st centuries, Germany’s Gerhard Richter, will be presented at GOMA in 2018; and a survey of work produced since 2000 by renowned American photographer Cindy Sherman will be shown in 2016.

‘Achieving our vision will require not only the wealth of expertise of the Gallery’s staff, but close cooperation with the unswerving network of support the Gallery enjoys – including the Minister for the Arts and Queensland Government, the Board of Trustees chaired by Professor Sue Street, artists, benefactors, sponsors, the arts and education sectors, and of course our audiences,’ he said.

‘I also see a great future of collaboration, not only with international and national partners, but also with Brisbane’s leading universities, and with our colleagues here at the unique Cultural Precinct, as we implement the Cultural Precinct Strategy, and with the tourism sector to contribute to attracting visitors to Brisbane through memorable events and experiences.

‘I undertake to work with all of these groups to realise our vision to make QAGOMA a truly dynamic, accessible and engaging place of culture and learning,’ Mr Saines said.

Among Mr Saines’s announcements were:
The most significant single gift to the Collection by Queensland benefactor Win Schubert of the spectacular new commission, Heritage, the centre-piece of the exhibition ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth’ this summer at GOMA.

A new series of Gallery-curated exhibitions of internationally acclaimed living master artists, including legendary American photographer Cindy Sherman (2016) and Gerhard Richter, one of the world’s greatest living painters (2018).

Major solo exhibitions of leading Queensland-born artists including Tracey Moffatt (2014); and Mr Saines would lead a team of Gallery and external curators to develop an exhibition of contemporary Queensland art at GOMA in 2015.
To mark GOMA’s 10th anniversary in 2016–2017, an exhibition exploring light, space, architecture and the senses will introduce new works to Australian audiences by visionaries including the American master of light, James Turrell.
The enhanced scope and ambition of ‘The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (2015–16) will include the consideration of new countries and a younger generation of artists from several countries; the return of the international symposium to invigorate dialogue around the project; and a stronger presentation of performance throughout the exhibition.
The development of a new multi-purpose, interactive social and learning environment for audiences of all ages, based in QAG, which would build on the Gallery’s internationally recognised expertise in children’s experiential programming.
A commitment to progressing national and international touring arrangements for major QAGOMA-curated exhibitions, including ‘My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Australia’, as well as Children’s Art Centre exhibitions.
The Gallery will present the first major Australian exhibition of contemporary African art in 2016, a focus of recent Collection development. In addition, the Gallery will further its close relationship with Papua New Guinea with the presentation in 2015 of the Collection-based exhibition ‘Number One Neighbour’.
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