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	Image: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA. Photo: Anders Toft / Pixabay

The art of architecture: Directions in gallery design

With Anthony Burke

Explore the beautiful, challenging and complex role of architecture in shaping our experience of art today in The art of architecture. Wander through the galleries of the world; big and small, famous and not-so-famous, as we explore their design challenges, stories and spaces from the perspective of the architect.

Through a selection of some of the most important and (in)famous gallery projects of the last 25 years, this series will critically examine the inspiration and issues behind the gallery designs of the worlds’ leading architects including Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano, SANAA and Zaha Hadid. Journey into local and international galleries and museums including Mona, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Sydney Modern Project.

For a detailed, critical and surprising journey through the projects themselves and new perspectives on the complex nature of contemporary art and its environment, join us in a candid and inspiring look at what makes a place for art today.

Tickets include refreshments during intermission.

Book online

Friday full-series subscription

Saturday full-series: subscription

Individual lectures: see below

Image: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA. Photo: Anders Toft / Pixabay

Various Fridays or Saturdays 10.30am
11 October to 30 November 2019
See listing for dates

Single session:
$50 non-member
$40 member

Full series:
$270 non-member
$210 member

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878

Become a member

Fourteen (14) days’ notice is required to qualify for a refund. All refunds attract an administration charge of 25% of the ticket price with a minimum charge of $5. With subscription tickets, there are no refunds for single sessions, unless a session is cancelled. This is non-negotiable. To enquire about a refund, email or call 02 9225 1878 or visit the members lounge.

Duration 2 hours
Location: Domain Theatre

Proudly sponsored by
Arab Bank Australia

The emergence of the modern gallery: how did we get here?

From the Sir John Soane Museum in London to the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, architects have continually challenged our expectations of what a gallery might be and the place of art in our cultural and civic imagination. This lecture explores the intimate relationship of art and architecture through significant galleries over the last century, introducing key architectural terms and the events and personalities in architecture that have been so influential in shaping the form of the gallery as we know it today.



Friday 11 October 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm


Saturday 12 October 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm

Scales of ambition: the rise (and fall) of the ‘star-chitects’

The competition for audience and attention over the last 25 years has driven the emergence of the largest and most spectacular gallery projects ever built. Commissioning ‘star-chitects’ and borrowing tactics from shopping malls and airports, galleries from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to the Tate Modern have adapted to a new landscape of art tourism, big business and Instagram. But how big is too big? What is gained and lost in this race for scale? What is a ‘star-chitect’ anyway? This lecture presents a candid review of some the world’s largest and most recognisable gallery projects, and their architects as designers, media personalities and brands.



Friday 25 October 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm


Saturday 26 October 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm

Staging the encounter: the demands of art

Whether visiting the Mona Lisa at The Louvre Museum, a Turrell Skyspace in LA or Monet’s Waterlillies at Chichu, the spaces in which we encounter art are critical in shaping our experience of it. Recognising the combination of environment, atmosphere, anticipation and audience, artists and curators continue to challenge the traditional space of the gallery in search of experience and impact. So how have architects responded? This lecture explores some of the extreme demands of contemporary art practice on gallery design, and the significance of architecture in creating our experience of art through spaces both singular and sublime.



Friday 1 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm


Saturday 2 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm

Building in place: architecture and the gallery in time

From LACMA to the MoMA, the most recognisable galleries in the world present their incredible stories through architecture that has evolved over decades. By contrast, galleries like The Getty in LA, or MAXXI in Rome aim for the timelessness of culture by presenting a whole ‘world-at-once’ experience through a tightly controlled single architectural language. This lecture will examine the complex roles of the contemporary gallery from archive and cultural chronicler to future-facing cultural producer, and the expression of these roles through architecture and our spatial experience of the gallery.



Friday 8 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm


Saturday 9 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm

Architecture and presence: the special case of Japanese design and the gallery

This lecture takes a close look at recent Japanese gallery and museum design and its influence on a new generation of architects around the world. From Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art to the sublime Teshima Art Museum, discover the philosophies underpinning design and its translation into strategies for architecture and exhibition in Japan and its interpretation through a rising tide of new architectural stars. Explore the special case of Naoshima and the growing phenomenon of art and cultural regeneration.

This lecture will commence with an update on the Sydney Modern Project delivered by Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.



Friday 22 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm


Saturday 23 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm

Tomorrow’s galleries today – and what they can tell us

Preview designs on the drawing boards of famous and emerging architects from around the world, and what they promise for the galleries of tomorrow. From Helsinki to Sharjah, this lecture examines how new technologies, experiences and art forms are driving the next wave of gallery design for a new generation of audience. Exploring a range of ‘unbuilt’ projects, this thought-provoking preview of gallery design in the future tense explores how our gallery experiences will continue to develop. What might a ‘place for art’ entail in the future?



Friday 29 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm


Saturday 30 November 2019 10:30am – 12:30pm