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American Masters

August 4 @ 10:00 - November 11 @ 17:00


Drawn exclusively from our outstanding collection of American art, American Masters celebrates that nation’s artists from the 1940s to the 1980s. When the NGA acquired Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles in 1973, at the time the most expensive American painting ever sold, our emerging collection hit the global headlines. This exhibition tells the story of the formation of our incredible American collection and includes many major works not seen together for a long time.

From Abstract Expressionism, Colour Field, Pop, Neo-Dada and Photo-Realism, to Conceptual, Land and Performance Art, American Masters examines how a generation of young Americans challenged local traditions and reinvented modern art, inspired by European émigrés including Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian and Josef Albers. The sensational international impact of the era’s major artists is captured in masterpieces by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Chuck Close, Donald Judd, Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeois.

Jackson Pollock Blue poles 1952, oil, enamel, aluminium paint, glass on canvas, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1973, © Pollock-Krasner Foundation. ARS/Copyright Agency, 2018

Highlights include paintings and works on paper by the New York School; Sol LeWitt’s huge Wall drawing No. 380 a-d 1982, specially re-made for this exhibition; and a selection of spectacular light works by Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, Keith Sonnier and James Turrell.


August 4 @ 10:00
November 11 @ 17:00
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National Art Gallery
Parkes Place
Canberra, ACT
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+61 2 6240 6411