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Art Gallery of Western Australia’s MoMA exhibitions deliver crowds and culture to Perth

Art Gallery of Western Australia’s MoMA exhibitions deliver crowds and culture to Perth
July 9, 2013

With blockbuster exhibitions drawing crowds to art galleries in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne this year, the Art Gallery of Western Australia's hosting of 'Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond: The World Reimagined' a collection of 134 works by 96 artists from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is building on the Western Australian Government's commitment to deliver a high level of cultural activity in Perth.

Running from 22nd June to 2nd December, the exhibition is building on the Art Gallery of Western Australia's recent tradition for hosting annual blockbuster art exhibitions.

And while subsidised by the Western Australian Government, these exhibitions not only add to the cultural life of the Western Australian capital but also act as a draw for visitors. Of the 110,000 who attended last year's 'Picasso To Warhol' exhibition at the Gallery, around 20% were visitors from interstate and overseas.

Developed as a result of friendship between Art Galley of WA Director Stefano Carboni and the MoMA Director Glenn Lowry, Perth will be hosting six MoMA exhibitions, which the Western Australian Government is backing with around $10 million in funding.

Western Australian Arts Minister John Day says exhibitions like this are usually a net cost, and the Government doesn't expect to make a profit, explaining "there's not a lot in the arts in Australia that does make a profit; organisations like the art gallery, the museum, the ballet, Black Swan Theatre and WA Opera all require public subsidies to be able to operate.

"We think that's worth it because it does produce much better experience and opportunity for people who are living here, and importantly, with what's happening in Western Australia with the major resources development, the desire to make Perth an attractive place for world-qualified people to come and live."

Acknowledging that some works in the MoMA series of exhibitions may be 'challenging' and lack popular appeal, Minister Day concludes "I think as we have more of this diversity of exhibitions and works being provided in Perth (that) people will become more acquainted with what was done in the 20th Century and will attend in greater numbers."

In addition to works by Van Gogh and Dali, 'Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond: The World Reimagined' features works by Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Derain, Duchamp, Klimt, Kandinsky, Kahlo, Picasso, Miro, Modigliani, Matisse, Johns, Bacon, Richter and Warhol.

It encompasses artistic movements including Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Pop Art and Conceptual Art.

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