The best art exhibitions happening this month

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The best art exhibitions happening this month

Melbourne art exhibitions and galleries
Words by Ben Lamb & Tammy Walters

Our guide to Melbourne art exhibitions and galleries has the best art events to catch each month, well beyond the NGV and Arts Centre.

Our Melbourne art galleries and exhibitions guide proves exactly why Melbourne is branded the arts capital of Australia; just look at the rich display of art painting our city corridors. Art and culture are embedded in our city’s identity and we’re home to some of Australia’s best boutique contemporary gallery spaces and museums.

In this article, we combine our comprehensive list of the best Melbourne art galleries with a list of the best exhibitions happening currently around the city, updated each month. From the latest art events to immerse yourself in at the expansive NGV, to the latest graffiti and wall art that dons world hotspots like Hosier Lane, this is your ultimate one-stop shop for art in Melbourne.

With lots to see this month, here are our recommendations for every exhibition and art show happening in and around Melbourne.

Keep up with all the latest art events, exhibitions, news, reviews and interviews here.

Melbourne’s best art galleries and their current exhibitions

National Gallery of Victoria

One simply cannot have a list of Melbourne’s best art galleries and not mention NGV. Split across two locations within the CBD, NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, the dual galleries are known for their enticing and enthralling exhibitions. Like a playground for art-loving adults (and kids, too), NGV frequently houses interactive pieces, large-scale installations, and artworks from world-renowned artists ranging from Vincent Van Gogh to Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Find NGV International at 180 St Kilda Rd, CBD and NGV Australia at Federation Square, CBD. 

Rembrandt: True To Life

This new exhibition making its way to the NGV month follows the work of the titular master throughout his life, starting in the 1620s through to the 1660s. The exhibition will feature around 100 etchings, with can be found with paintings, drawings, and pieces that have also been found in a selection of the world’s best museums, like The Louvre, National Gallery of Art, and many more. Rembrandt: True to Life will be taking place at the NGV throughout June

Takahiro Iwasaki

He’s one of Japan’s most recognised artists, and he’s set to begin an exhibition in the NGV this April, his three-dimensional models need to be seen to be believed.

NGV: Melbourne Now

Melbourne Now: Community Hall presents free performances, films, talks, events and more

Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang – Temple of Boom

A reimagining of The Parthenon is coming to Melbourne at the NGV

This exhibition is a reimagining of the Parthenon, the popular temple that is found in Athens, Greece. This exhibition is the NGV’s Architecture commission for 2022, and the artwork will be created based on the site. Alongside the Parthenon, there will be a number of art pieces from Melbourne based artists. Temple of Boom is happening at the NGV from November 16. 

The Global Life of Design

NGV reveals 2022 exhibitions including ‘China – The past is present’ and ‘Freedom of Movement’


This exhibition celebrates items used in old-fashioned trade and business operations, and is at the NGV from October 6.

Mecca X NGV Women in Design Commission

NGV’s new large-scale Bilbao installation opens today

Artist / architect Tatiana Bilbao dives into creations that aren’t too common in the world of architecture. More information can be found here.

China – The Past is Present

NGV reveals 2022 exhibitions including ‘China – The past is present’ and ‘Freedom of Movement’

This October, the NGV will be home to a brand new international-inspired exhibition called The Past is Present. This art collection contrasts early Chinese art and work with that of modern times. These works will include painting, calligraphy, ceramics, metal works, lacquer ware, textiles, furniture, video, posters, photography and mixed media, among more. The work shows an interesting story of China over the years.


Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion

‘I’m so excited’: Geena Davis to headline ACMI’s Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion exhibition

This exhibition focuses on the world of incredible women, diving into costumes, sketches, and experiences, of stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Geena Davis, Zendaya, and Margot Robbie, among plenty more.

Out of Bounds: Exploring the Limits of Videogames

ACMI’s crazy new exhibition explores the world of Red Dead Redemption 2

If the usual type of art galleries and exhibitions on this list aren’t up your alley, look no further than this new work coming to ACMI. This piece is the brainchild of a Melbourne based art collective known as The Grannies, and this show involves them including themselves in the popular game Red Dead Redemption.

Thor: Love and Thunder Costumes

Costumes and props from ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ are now on display at ACMI

Whether you loved or hated it, there’s no arguing that the costumes used in the recent Thor movie were something to wonder at. The mostly local made flick used popular local designers, and you can see their work during this exhibition. You’ll get to see costumes worn by Thor, Zeus, and even Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher.

Outré Gallery

With two convenient locations across Melbourne, including one in the heart of the city on Elizabeth Street and the newest addition on Smith Street, Outré Gallery challenges the conventions of the archetypal Melbourne art gallery. Known for their distinctive range of figurative artwork and curatorial aesthetic, Outré has been host to an extensive catalogue of highly regarded works from the likes of James Jean, Audrey Kawasaki, Mark Ryden, and Stella Im Hultberg, amongst others.

Find Outré Gallery at 249-251 Elizabeth St, CBD and 319 Smith St, Fitzroy. 


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Phil Noto

If classic art isn’t really your cup of tea, this exhibition hitting the Outré Gallery this June is one you need to check out. If you haven’t heard of Phil Noto before, he’s a US based illustrator, having worked with iconic comic producers like Marvel, DC Comics, and Walt Disney Animation, among much more. Phil Noto’s Showcase is taking place at the Outré Gallery from June 2 until June 25

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood has had work featured in comic books across the world including Marvel and DC. Now his work is making its way to the Outre Gallery this June.

Martin Ontiveros

Yet another comic book style artist makes theit way to the Outre Gallery, with Ontiveros producing work for bands such as Motorhead and Mastadon.

Arc One Gallery

Located in the centre of Melbourne’s arts precinct on Flinders Lane, Arc One is one of Australia’s leading contemporary commercial galleries. With a multi-tier business operation of exhibition and representation, Arc One has a diverse roster and portfolio of mid-career to established artists. From solo shows to group exhibitions delivered across a multitude of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, installations, video, and visual media, Arc One is shaping the narrative to present Australian artists in the same high calibre division as their international counterparts. Right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, this Melbourne art gallery is easy to visit and even easier to fall in love with.

Find Arc One Gallery at 45 Flinders Ln, CBD.


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Imants Tillers – After De Chirico

Imants Tillers recognises Giorgio De Chirico as one of their biggest influences, many of these pieces need to be seen to be believed. If you don’t feel like heading out of the house, much of this exhibition can also be viewed online here.

Tolarno Galleries

Established in 1967, Tolarno Galleries has a rich history of curating highly stimulating, innovative, and boundary-pushing exhibitions across contemporary art and design. Fittingly located on Exhibition Street, the gallery boasts an impressive exhibition log flooded with modern masters and emerging leaders including Bonnard, Dali, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Pissarro, Renoir, and Vuillard in the early years and Australian modernists Charles Blackman, John Brack, Arthur Boyd, Joy Hester, and Albert Tucker. Another all-rounder in the spectrum of artwork, Tolarno has become especially known and celebrated on a global scale for the inclusion of mind-boggling, cutting-edge design works.

Find Tolarno Galleries at Level 4, 104 Exhibition St, CBD. 


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Anna Schwartz Gallery

A self-titled gallery from distinguished gallerist and curator, Anna Schwartz, the Anna Schwartz Gallery is now directed by Tania Doropoulos. With a mission to identify, nurture and showcase the careers of visionary Australian and international artists, the contemporary space represents over 30 multi-generational art-makers and works, bringing to life individual projects. With installations running on a monthly basis, Anna Schwarz Gallery is transformed by minimalist modernist curatorial endeavours. A Melbourne art gallery with regularly changing exhibitions, Anna Schwartz is always in a state of evolution, often at the hands of some of Australia’s most innovative artists.

Find Anna Schwartz Gallery at 185 Flinders Ln, CBD. 


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Stephen Bram – Perspective Paintings

Stephen Bram has been a staple of the scene for around 30 years, his work featuring elements of architecture. His new exhibition focuses on vanishing points. More information can be found here.

Su San Cohn – Pieces of Peace

Cohn brings an interesting point of view to the art world, their work using machines as art pieces. It’s on at the Anna Schwartz Gallery until June 24.

Flinders Lane Gallery

Only a stone’s throw away from Anna Schwartz Gallery resides Flinders Lane Gallery, a must-see on the walking gallery tour in the arts precinct. Under the careful directorial guide of Claire Harris since 2006, Flinders Lane Gallery takes great pride in sourcing and showcasing prised artworks. Working with and championing artists from all points of their career progression, Flinders Lane Gallery emphasises exceptional, quality artworks that demonstrate conceptual precision, technical proficiency, and creative awareness and sensitivity. You can also take a virtual tour of their gallery exhibitions on their website, with prints available to purchase from their stockroom.

Find Flinders Lane Gallery at Level 1, The Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston St, CBD.

Leah Thiessen – Biome

NSW artist Leah Thiessen’s work is inspired by her backyard, the Terranora Broadwater. Her new exhibition Biome is her second at Flinders Lane Gallery.

FLG Annual Unsigned Artist Exhibition

If you’re looking for an up-and-comer in the world of art, look no further than this event making its way to the Flinders Lane Gallery this month. There’s set to be a collection of talented unsigned artists on show.


Dynamic and transformative – the two ingredients for intrigue in the art world. Blindside delivers on this promise, with their 2021 program calendar set to make good on the guarantee. Open Tuesday through Saturday during the exhibition period, Blindside fosters the bold and encourages the courageous across all artforms. Through contemporary art practices of sculpture, drawing, painting, performance art, design, as well as modern variations of visual media, sound, and installation, Blindside provides the blank space for artists to paint their signature.

Find Blindside at Level 7, 37 Swanston St, CBD. 


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Debut XIX

This exhibition is coming to the popular Blindside Gallery thanks to some of the graduates from a selection of Melbourne’s major art schools. There’ll be works from artists such as Ramak Bamzar, Devika Bolimoria, Hgh Crowley, and plenty more, check out who else is featured here.

Fox Galleries

Established by Michael Fox and relocated to Melbourne in 2016, this Collingwood gallery has become a welcome addition to the gallery circuit and Collingwood precinct. With an artists management arm and gallery core, Fox Galleries boasts three gallery spaces coloured with an array of art. Operating on an annual calendar, Fox Galleries has housed works by Tim Clarkson, social commentator Victor Rubin, and portrait painter Esther Erlich.

Find Fox Galleries at 67 Wellington St, Collingwood. 


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Peter Thomas – Field Memories

Peter Thomas is a Melbourne based artist who has quickly gained traction of the art world here in Australia, with this new exhibition focusing on his oil paintings and sculptural works, which are full of interesting history and meaning. Peter Thomas – Field Memories is taking place at the Fox Galleries from June 1 until June 25.

Sutton Gallery

Sutton Gallery has called Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, its home since 1992. With a monthly program calendar of solo and group exhibitions from highly regarded contemporary Australian and New Zealand artists, Sutton Gallery has earned a name as one of Australia’s best contemporary galleries. So far in 2021, they have presented works by renowned artists, David Rosetzky, Eugene Carchesio, and Raafat Ishak.

Find Sutton Gallery at 254 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. 

Stephen Bush – A Troubled Mind

Caesar Florence-Howard

Buxton Contemporary

Although still in its infancy, Buxton Contemporary has forged a strong name in the Melbourne art gallery scene, particularly in its flourishing contemporary culture. A product of University of Melbourne’s flagship arts school, Victorian College of the Arts, Buxton Contemporary is a platform for exposure and education. With four main public gallery spaces and outdoor screens dedicated to the display of moving image art, Buxton Contemporary is not just a gallery space or a museum, it’s an all-encompassing arts hub. The space engages local, national, and international artists for art exhibitions.

Find Buxton Contemporary on the corner of Southbank Blvd and Dodds St, Southbank. 

Peter Tyndall

If the name isn’t familiar, you’ve been living under a rock. Peter Tyndall is one of our most iconic artists, having influenced a number of up-and-comers across the world. This exhibition showcases Tyndall’s work over the past half a century.

Heide Museum of Modern Art

Arguably the finest Melbourne art gallery in the northern suburbs. Another Melbourne staple, Heide Museum of Modern Art has been drawing tourists and Melburnians alike to Bulleen for decades. From the early ’30s onwards, the site was home to Melbourne couple John and Sunday Reed who, over the years, opened their doors to artists such as Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker, eventually establishing it as a public museum. Not only does Heide house an incredible collection of contemporary art within its walls, but it’s surrounded by lush gardens and a sculpture park.

Find Heide Museum of Modern Art at 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen.


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Murray Walker – Walk of Life

Murray Walker has been a staple of the art scene since 1960, dazzling many with his unique style. This exhibition brings together a collection of his greatest works from within the Heide Collection.

Catherine Opie- Binding Ties

Catherine Opie’s work has been a staple of the art world since the 1990’s, and her works has been able to spark a conversation, back when her content featured things that weren’t legal. Her work dives into the world of gender and sexuality, her work coming at a time when there is a lot of discussion about the area across the world. More information of Catherine Opie’s exhibition can be found here.

Monash University Museum of Art

Harbouring the next big things in the world of Art, the Monash University Museum of Art is located within Monash University’s Caulfield Campus. The gallery focuses on art from Australians, sometimes moving into the international art world.

The Monash University Museum of Art can be found at 900 Princes Highway Service Road, Caulfield.

Rivermouth: Selected Works from the 23rd Biennale of Sydney: Rivus

If you’ve never come across it before, the Biennale of Sydney is a bi-annual festival celebrating the best in art. This exhibition has taken a number of the best pieces from last year’s festival, and will be showcasing them for art lovers to see throughout February at the Monash University Museum of Art.

Old Treasury Building

As the name suggests, this building was originally the base for the Victorian Government’s Treasury department, and stayed that way for a number of years. It wasn’t until 1994, the building was restored, and became the museum that we know and love today. Inside, you’ll see many references to Melbourne from past and present.

The Old Treasury Building can be found at 20 Spring St, East Melbourne

Lost Jobs: The Changing World of Work

Melbourne art gallery spaces come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most visually striking is the Old Treasury Building. This exhibition celebrates those jobs that are long-gone and have no meaning nowadays, like “lamplighters” or “fairy tappers”. Lost Jobs dives into the world of business in Victoria back in the early days, and how things have changed since then, delving into the stories of many who moved from farming in outer Victoria in the 1800s to big jobs in the big smoke. It’s happening at the Old Treasury Building, check out more info here.

Protest Melbourne

Especially in this day and age, protests have become quite a big thing in Australia. This exhibition showcases a collection of the biggest protests to take place across the country over the last few decades.

West End Arts Space

One of the newer galleries on this list, the West End Arts Space first opened back in 2016, and has been delighting fans since. Many up and comers have called the space home to their artworks, making the West End Arts Space one of Melbourne’s best galleries.

West End Arts Space can be found at 112 Adderley St, West Melbourne

Cathy Muhling, Merv Muhling – Familiarity: A Conversation with My Father

Father and daughter duo Cathy and Merv will be bringing a joint exhibition to the West End Arts Space this April, around 20 years since the patriarch’s death.  This show is a conversation between daughter and father, the pair bonding over their shared love of art, and this exhibition is the perfect continuation of it. It’s at the West End Arts Gallery until April 22. More info can be found here.


A one-stop shop for all things creative, fortyfivedownstairs brings Melburnians art they really can’t see anywhere else. There are plays, exhibitions, art shows, and much more happening on a regular basis at fortyfivedownstairs.

Fortyfivedowstairs can be found at 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Oliver Bradley – Can’t See For Looking

This exhibition is coming to fortyfivedownstairs from Oliver Bradley, an artist who aims to create conversations through his art pieces. This exhibition focusing on paintings that could have several different meanings.

MARS Gallery

First opened back in 2004, the Mars Gallery has quickly become one of Melbourne’s hottest art spaces.

MARS Gallery can be found at 7 James St, Windsor.

Sophia Whitney Hewson – Death Drive

Sophia Hewson brings an interesting take to the world of art, having been a psychologist, and a member of the Australian Centre of Psychoanalysis. Back in 2019, she reached a finalist position in the Ramsay Art Prize, so you know you’ll be seeing high-quality work. If you don’t feel like heading in to the gallery to catch this exhibition, much of the catalogue can be viewed over on the MARS Gallery website.  Sophia Whitney Hewson – Death Drive will be taking place at the MARS Gallery until June 25

Arts House

Yet another multi-faceted space for arts works, the Arts House has plays, dance shows, galleries, and plenty more.

The Arts House can be found at 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne.

Wan Dharridji Balert Gumak Kulin Biik

This exhibition is a collection of photos by Iluka Sax Williams, who honours his culture in a number of the pieces.

Jewish Museum

Evolving Identities

Melbourne and Australia are both great melting pots of different cultures, many people of many different backgrounds have graced our shores over the last century and brought some interesting ways of living to our grounds. This exhibition focuses on and celebrates the religion and culture, and what it means to be someone of the Jewish faith in Australia today.

The Shrine of Remembrance

There’s no question about the history of this space, the war memorial has many pieces honouring those who served our country in wars over the years.

The Shrine of Remembrance is at Birdwood Ave, Melbourne.

Defending with Pride

People who identify as LGBTQA+ have been part of our special forces for years, this exhibition featuring the stories from those involved. Find more info about that exhibition here.

RMIT Gallery

Located within the RMIT University, the RMIT Gallery has been around since 1977. It’s quickly become one of our most popular spaces, with many RMIT alum having exhibitions there over the years.

Find the RMIT Gallery at 344 Swanston St, Melbourne

Radical Utopia

Moving audiences back into the 1980’s, this exhibition will focus on images of early Melbourne, and how choices made back then has created the city we all know and love today.

Monash Gallery of Art

First opened back in 1990, the Monash Gallery of Art is home to the best of Australian photography.

Find the Monash Gallery of Art at 860 Ferntree Gully Rd, Wheelers Hill.

Untold Stories: Uncovering LGBTIQA+ stories of the COVID-19 pandemic

This new exhibition brings artists who are inspired by stories of the LGBTIQA+ community to recount the pandemic from their point of view.

Centre of Contemporary Photography

The Centre of Contemporary Photography was first established back in 1986, focused on bringing the world of photography into the everyday. The venue is dedicated on education and showcasing of photo art pieces.

Centre of Contemporary Photography can be found at 404 George St, Fitzroy.

I Loved You: Works From The White Rabbit Collection

This exhibition occurs in collaboration with the popular White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney. The featured works dive into the world of love.

Abbotsford Convent

As the name suggests, the Abbotsford Convent was formerly a convent, and stayed that way for a century. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular arts precincts, there are galleries, live music, offices, and much more.

Abbotsford Convent can be found at 1 St Hellers St, Abbotsford.

Various Artists: Memory-Go-Round 2022

One of the most intriguing exhibitions is coming to the Abbotsford Convent this December, the Memory-Go-Round, an exhibition featuring 5 disabled artists. It’s an immersive experience that’ll take place in a number of different locations within the gallery. It hones in on the sensory experience, aiming towards senses of sound and smell. You’ll be able to get something out of this that isn’t common among art galleries across Melbourne.

The Dax Centre

The Dax Centre has found a gap in the art gallery market, focusing on works that do good in the world, and improve mental health.

The Dax Centre can be found at 30 Royal Parade, Parkville.

Graham Doyle – Medicated Man

Graham Doyle was a popular performer, especially in the worlds of art and music. He lived 70+ years with schizophrenia, which created a number of interesting art pieces. The exhibition highlights schizophrenia and shows how with the right support, people can live with the disease, as Graham Doyle did. For this exhibition, there has been a collaboration with Peter Wegner, a portrait artist, who showcases a different side of Doyle. Graham Doyle – Medicated Man will be taking place at the Dax Centre throughout June.

Backwoods Gallery

Backwoods Gallery opened in the back streets of Collingwood in 2010 with the purpose of exhibiting contemporary art by emerging artists from Australia and around the world. Once you enter Paradise Alley from Easey street, head towards the back of the alleyway and look up and you’ll see black stairs and a Backwoods Gallery sign.

The Gallery is open Thursday ~ Sunday from 12 – 6PM during exhibition dates. Other times are available by appointment.

Backwoods Gallery is located at the rear of Paradise Alley, 25 Easey St, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia.

Obuje – Semifunctional Form

This exhibition celebrates Japanese ceramics, and will feature a collection of talented artists, such as Rie Aizawa, Ion Fukazawa, Junpei Hiraoka, Jun Matsumura, Makiko Nagai, Namika Nakai, Tomoya Sakai, Masatomo Toi.

Tom Civil – Signs of Life

Tom Civil’s work aims to break down colonial Australian symbols, and show how important images can be.

Want more culture? Check out our list of Melbourne’s best free museums