Roger Kemp, 'The World Moves On', enamel paint on compositional board (1955)

Best known for his large-scale tapestries that hang in the NGV’s Great Hall, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is currently hosting Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist exhibition from 22 August 2019 to 15 March 2020.

Showcasing a comprehensive retrospective that tracks Kemp’s career beginning with his earliest paintings of symbolic landscapes and angular dancing figures, through to his late works, Kemp is recognised as one of the great inventors in abstract art, striving ‘to make visible the invisible’.

Featuring several never before publicly exhibited works, the exhibition is the most comprehensive retrospective of this artist’s work since his death in 1987. Comprising paintings, prints and sketches, the exhibition explores the artist’s extraordinary career, beginning with his earliest paintings of symbolic landscapes and angular dancing figures, through to his late works, which reveal an artist whose concerns go beyond the physical world.

A unique and enigmatic artist, his interest was not in the overriding traditions of figurative and landscape art, nor the prevailing trends in non-objective art, but rather something deeper and more metaphysical.

Left: 'Flight in Space', enamel paint on composition board (1960-1965), Right: 'Music in Nature', oil on cardboard (1936)

In Kemp’s later works – highly resolved paintings of the 1960's, 70's and 80's – the geometric structure heightens the symbolic richness contained within. His works from this period are charged with great emotional energy and are the pinnacle of an artistic and spiritual journey.

This solo exhibition follows recent major solo surveys at NGV Australia, including Rosslynd Piggott and Darren Sylvester, and kicks off the next season of upcoming solo exhibitions, showcasing the work of Australian designer Lucy McCrae and photographers Petrina Hicks and Polixeni Papapetrou later this year.

Don't miss NGV'S new exhibition, Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist this year and next!


Dates: 22 August 2019 - 15 March 2020

Location: The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square.

Times: 10am - 5pm daily

Cost: Free

NGV Website


and stay up to date with our latest posts

BeMelbourne acknowledges Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, work and create.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

©  2016 Be Melbourne