The National Gallery of Australia
20th Birthday Open Day

Saturday 5 October 2002

Celebrating 20 years since the opening of the National Gallery of Australia.
Free admission to special exhibitions, special broadcast of 2CN garden program from 8:30am, tours of the Gallery's collection, talks on works of art, behind the scenes tours, performances, workshops, children's activities in the Sculpture Garden, 15% discount in the Gallery Shop for NGA Members

Special events during the day in the James O. Fairfax Theatre:
Australian Art Book Launch and Viewing of Australian Galleries 12:00pm
Gordon Darling AO CMG launches the Gallery's new publication 'Australian Art in the National Gallery of Australia' (limited seating)
The Big Americans Master Printer Talk 2:00pm

Ken Tyler discusses the work of his print studios
Artist Talk 3:30pm
Artist Neil Dawson discusses his new installation at the Gallery Diamonds

The National Gallery of Australia will come alive on 5 October to celebrate 20 years of the Gallery on the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. The Open Day sponsored by Qantas will be the key event in several weeks of celebrations marking this important milestone.
Two special exhibitions mounted to coincide with the birthday will be free on the Open Day (normally $10, $7). Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles an important exhibition of Pollock's work and marks 50 years since the painting of Blue Poles. This exhibition coincides with a major exhibition of work involving master printer Ken Tyler, The Big Americans: Albers, Frankenthaler, Hockney, Johns, Lichtenstein, Motherwell, Rauschenberg, Stella.
Two other special exhibitions will be available to the public: Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert Namatjira and Colour + Concept: International colour photography. A focus exhibition on the architecture of the Gallery will also be a feature of the celebrations.
The Open Day will provide an opportunity to see the recently refurbished galleries of International, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Asian and Australian Art. The refurbishment of internal walls, lighting, window treatment and flooring is part of an overall gallery enhancement program.

The public will be invited to join the celebrations on Saturday 5 October at an Open Day, which will feature

Three special events will be featured in the James O. Fairfax Theatre

Australian Art Book Launch 12:00pm
Gordon Darling AO CMG launches the 20th birthday publication 'Australian Art in the National Gallery of Australia'

The Big Americans Master Printer Talk 2:00pm
Ken Tyler (USA) discusses the work of his internationally renowned print studios.

The outstanding contribution to printmaking by Ken Tyler has been acknowledged worldwide. Even in his early days at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles in 1963 he was known for his visionary understanding of print media. He eventually established his own atelier, Gemini Ltd. In 1966 the company was joined with Gemini GEL (Graphics Editions Limited) and moved to Bedford Village, N.Y. in February 1974. The list of artists working with his studio is a veritable who's who of the art world.

Working with major figures within the art world such as Frank Stella, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein, the prints that Tyler's studio produced were technically challenging and extremely labour-intensive. Tyler is renowned for his determination to push technical boundaries. In his lecture, Ken Tyler will discuss his experiences of working with a range of artists and some of the technical innovations that took place in his studio.

Artist Talk 3:30pm
Artist Neil Dawson discusses his new installation 'Diamonds', which replaces the 'Globe' outside the Gallery's entrance.

As part of the National Gallery of Australia's 20th birthday celebrations, leading New Zealand artist Neil Dawson has been commissioned to create a major sculptural work. Diamonds replaces Dawson's earlier work Globe that was an icon of the National Gallery before being irreparably damaged during a severe windstorm in November 1998.

Neil Dawson, born Christchurch in 1948, has an international reputation for his suspended sculptures which appear to float magically in space. Dawson's challenge for Diamonds has been to create a work of the same form and for the same site as Globe, yet one that creates new relationships with its environment and reflects the developments in his work over the last decade.

Diamonds is a further development of the concept of Globe. Instead of presenting a global view, however, Diamonds is a zooming in on Australia. Dawson's intention is to create a gallery of images of the diverse Australian landscape as seen from above: bush, mountains, desert, sea and clouds.

Diamonds has been acquired by the National Gallery with the generous assistance of ActewAGL. Dawson's lecture at the National Gallery will be an opportunity to hear the artist's insight to a new icon of National Gallery of Australia.

For Further information:
Ken Begg Media +61 2 6282 4928
Greg Marginson Public Programs +61 2 6240 6524 or
Public Affairs + 61 2 6240 6431