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Contemporary International Art

Chaussures Ralph Lauren (from ‘Publicités’ series) 2007

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré | Côte d’Ivoire b. circa 1923 | Chaussures Ralph Lauren (from ‘Publicités’ series) 2007 | Coloured pencil and ballpoint pen on cardboard | 20.5 x 16cm x 2cm (framed) | Purchased 2010 with funds from the Bequest of Grace Davies and Nell Davies through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery


Tobias Putrih | Slovenia b.1972 | Connection 2004 | Cardboard boxes on plywood ed. of 1 740cm (height) (variable to a maximum height of 800cm) | Purchased 2008 with funds from Tim Fairfax, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Olafur Eliasson, The cubic structural evolution project 2004

Olafur Eliasson
Denmark b.1967
The cubic structural evolution project (detail) 2004
Plastic Lego blocks
Installed size variable
Purchased 2005. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Ron Mueck In bed 2005

Ron Mueck
England b.1958
In bed 2005
Mixed media, ed. 1/1
161.9 x 649.9 x 395cm
Purchased 2008. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Banner image:
Candice Breitz  South Africa b.1972 | King (a portrait of Michael Jackson) (detail) 2005 | 16-channel video installation: 42:20 minutes, colour, sound, ed. 3/6 | Purchased 2008 with funds from Tim Fairfax, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Contemporary International Art

The development of a collection of contemporary international art began in earnest following the opening of the Queensland Art Gallery’s new building at South Bank in 1982. The collection is comprised predominantly of post-1970 Western European and American art, and early acquisitions included major works by Bridget Riley (England), Mimmo Paladino (Italy), Georg Baselitz (Germany) and Gilbert and George (England). In the lead up to establishment of the Gallery of Modern Art in 2006, the collection benefited from an increasingly active acquisitions program. In addition, the scope of collection has broadened, looking to an expanded international field that also includes Central and Eastern Europe, Central and Southern America, Africa and the Middle East. The contemporary international collection currently comprises over 700 objects across all media. It has a number of areas of special focus and also acquires works which complement the Gallery’s Australian and Asian collections.

The largest single area of the collection is group of over 200 Fluxus prints and multiples, more than 100 of which were donated by Fluxus collector and archivist Francesco Conz. ‘Fluxus’ was a term coined in 1962 to describe the activities of one of the first truly international networks of artists. Central to Fluxus was the championing of the sphere of everyday life over the rarified context of museums and the production of works that ignored conventional media distinctions — giving rise to the term ‘intermedia’. Works in the Fluxus collection date from the early 1960s through to the late 1990s and act as an important bridge between the contemporary and historical international art collections. Fluxus is regarded as an important influence for many contemporary artists and the Gallery holds a collection of contemporary international art works that engage with its legacy including works by Pierre Bismuth (France), Martin Creed (England), Matthieu Mercier (France) and Rivane Neuenschwander (Brazil).

The Gallery has strong holdings of international sculpture post 1990. Significantly, many of these artists seek to question and redefine the age-old discipline by using unconventional materials or investigating the overlaps between sculpture and other disciplines such as video, performance and painting. Major sculptural works are held by a diverse group of artists including Gabriel Orozco (Mexico), Ron Mueck (England/Australia), Rachel Whiteread (England), Olafur Eliasson (Denmark), Erwin Wurm (Austria), Katharina Grosse (Germany), Richard Long (England), Roman Signer (Switzerland) and Tobias Putrih (Slovenia). 

Photography occupies an increasingly significant place in the contemporary international collection. Works by pioneering photographers such as William Eggleston (United States) and Bernd and Hilla Becher (Germany) are complemented by large-scale works by leading contemporary photographers such as Thomas Ruff (Germany), Thomas Demand (Germany), Frank Thiel (Germany) and Beat Streuli (Switzerland).

Since 1999, when the Gallery staged the exhibition ‘The Liquid Medium: Video Art’, video has been an important focus in the development of the contemporary international collection. The Gallery holds a growing body of single-channel videos dating from the early 1970s as well as major contemporary video installations by artists that include Robin Rhode (South Africa), Aernout Mik (The Netherlands), William Kentridge (South Africa), Candice Breitz (South Africa) and Jana Sterbak (Czech Republic/Canada).

British prints are an important part of the historical international collection and this has been an area of continued collection development for the post 1970s collection. Works from the 1970s and 80s by Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Joe Tilson, RB Kitaj and others provide historical context for prints by a younger generation of British artists who emerged in the 1990s — including Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Prints are also collected to provide context for works in other media in the contemporary international collection. Artist’s books and prints by Americans Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari, for example, act as important partner pieces for the major paintings held by these artists.

Broad in its geographic scope, the contemporary international art collection reflects the increasingly fluid and porous nature of the contemporary art world. In tandem with the Australian and Asian collections, it facilitates collection displays that trace lines of influence and dialogue across different cultures and historical periods.

The images on this web page are indicative of works that are part of the Collection. Visitors are advised to contact the Gallery in advance of a visit to find out if a particular work is on display. For exhibition information on Collection works on display, please visit Current Collection Displays

Selected Collection Highlights

William Eggleston Untitled 1974

Willem de Kooning Two trees on Mary Street . . . Amen! 1975

Bridget Riley Big Blue 1981-82

Georg Baselitz Im Wald (In the forest) 1990

Anish Kapoor Void (#13) 1991-92

Rachel Whiteread Twenty-five spaces 1995

Martin Creed Work no.189' 1998

Aernout Mik Pulverous 2003

Edward Ruscha Vine intersects four other streets 2003

Jana Sterbak From here to there 2003

Pierre Bismuth Someone I don’t know who reminds me of someone you don't know 2004

Olafur Eliasson The cubic structural evolution project 2004

Tobias Putrih Connection 2004

John Baldessari Prima facie (second state): Apprehensive 2005

Candice Beritz King (a portrait of Michael Jackson) 2005

Thomas Demand Landing 2006

Zilvinas Kempinas Columns 2006

Ron Mueck In bed 2005

Beat Streuli Bruxelles 05/06 2006

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré Chaussures Ralph Lauren (from ‘Publicités’ series) 2007

Damien Hirst For the love of God, laugh 2007

Nigel Cooke To work is to play 2008

SUPERFLEX Flooded McDonalds 2008

Romuald Hazoumé Liberté 2009

Lara Favaretto Gummo IV 2012

Henrique Oliveira Xilonoma Chamusquius 2 2012