Installation views of the Australian collection.
Currently on display | Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Galleries | Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Galleries display the Gallery’s collection of Australian art from the European occupation of the continent to the 1970s. The galleries are arranged in chronological order, but they reveal the multiple, and often contradictory, stories characterising the history of Australian art. Far from being one grand narrative, this story encompasses a series of vignettes embracing different perspectives, personalities, landscapes and cities, and is conveyed through diverse works, including paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, ceramics and furniture.
Importantly, the presence of Indigenous people is recognised, both in works by Indigenous artists and those by non-Indigenous artists documenting, appropriating or exploring Indigenous cultures.
From the colonial period to the early twentieth century, Australian artists were primarily influenced by European art traditions; they saw themselves as part of the international art world and undertook travel in order to actively participate in it. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century – a period in which Australian society rapidly modernised – distinctively Australian artistic ideas and styles began to develop. Several different and competing forms of modernist art flourished in Australia, and those artists embracing Modernism struggled for recognition alongside those engaged in traditional artistic practices, such as landscape painting and portraiture. Following the modern period, the singularity of contributions became marked; the Gallery’s Collection is particularly rich in art from the period after World War Two and into the 1960s, an era characterised by energetic cultural development.
Significant Queensland stories can be seen in these galleries, whether unique artistic pursuits or artists, or works that are part of larger stories in Australian art. Exploring places, people and histories, and focusing on the conventions of art itself, the vibrant and eclectic endeavours of Australian artists are celebrated in these changing displays. As the Gallery’s Collection grows and evolves, the Gallery will continue to present new narratives about our art and cultural history.