Contemporary art has a new home in Melbourne with the opening of Buxton Contemporary on Friday, 9 March. A compilation from one of the world’s best collections of Australian art, the new space is a testament to Melbourne businessman Michael Buxton who set out to create a museum quality collection in 1995.
This collection was then gifted to the University of Melbourne, in a landmark philanthropic gesture valued in excess of $26million, as well as funds to build a new museum and provision for its operations over the next 20 years.
The result is the Buxton Contemporary which, in addition to showcasing some of the finest examples of contemporary Australian art will also be used as a springboard for a dynamic exhibition and education program.
The inaugural Buxton Contemporary exhibition, The Shape Of Things To Come, curated by Melissa Keys, features 70 works from 26 artists.
These works all explore the role the artist plays in culture, society and politics – as visionaries, storytellers, dissenters and alchemists.
One well-known artist featured in the collection is Mikala Dwyer. Excited to be part of the collection, her work titled, Necklace for Wall, (pictured below) she says is a bit of a homage to her mother who passed away in 2010.
Mikala Dwyer next to her piece Necklace for Wall (2011)
“My mother was a silversmith and so when I went to clean up her things, there were all these half-finished bits of metal everywhere, and so I did a homage of sorts, as she did very fine things and I do big things.” Reflecting on the work, she is excited to see her piece in such a collection.
The Buxton has five separate galleries of contemporary Australian art including large scale installations, paintings, sculptures and video, within a purpose-built new museum designed by architect, Fender Katsalidis.
To find out more about the Michael Buxton collection see here.
Buxton Contemporary Gallery
Opening: 9 March 2018
Place: Cnr Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street, Melbourne