Known as one of the most influential avant-garde artists in Australia, Gareth Sansom’s Transformer exhibit showcases his contribution to the artistic world.

Running from 15 September 2017 – 28 January 2018, the NGV will be exhibiting the largest collection of Gareth Sansom‘s work held by a major gallery to date. The exhibition is free to the public, and features 130 works spanning the artist’s entire career.With more than 50 of Gareth Sansom’s high-key, exuberant paintings on display, his themes of pop-culture, sex, gender and religion are explored throughout. His densely-layered paintings, collages and watercolours all exemplify the satirical and philosophical ideas that Gareth Sansom is so well known and praised for.

Drawing inspiration from both Francis Bacon and British pop-culture, Gareth Sansom has used his work to explore ideas of physical, psychological and material transformation. This is evident through the Melbourne-born artist’s technique of often embedding self-portraits into his work, while collaging images that explore a range of subject matter.The NGV initially acquired his work in 1965, and recognised Gareth Sansom as a pioneering figure in the Australian artistic scene.

“He is a thought-provoking artist who is constantly challenging himself to surprise his audience,” said Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV.

Prior to dedicating his time solely to his art practice, Gareth Sansom also held positions as Head of Painting and Dean of the School of Art at the Victorian College of Arts.

During Transformer’s display at the The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, the gallery will hold a series of programs to further enhance the audience’s interaction with Gareth Sansom’s work. Featuring talks with both the artist himself and Pip Wills, the curator of the exhibit, there are a range of sessions throughout September and October.The exhibit will include some of the most vital works from the past 15 years, as well as pieces that have never been exhibited before. Transformer is sure to challenge the audience’s interpretation through showcasing some of Gareth Sansom’s most provoking work.

Check out the programs below and more information here.


Monday 18 September, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
A pre-eminent figure of the Australian avant-garde for over 60 years, Gareth Sansom merges pop culture references with intuitive and gestural mark-making. Hear the artist reflect on his career in conversation with art critic Sebastian Smee.
Speakers: Gareth Sansom, artist and Sebastian Smee, art critic
Cost: $12 M / $15 A / $13.50 C
Venue: Exhibition space, NGV Australia

Sunday 17 September, 11am
Speaker: Simon Maidment, Senior Curator, Contemporary Art Cost: Free
Venue: Exhibition space, NGV Australia

Wednesday 25 October, 2pm
Speaker: Pip Wallis, Curator, Contemporary Art Cost: Free
Venue: Exhibition space, NGV Australia

Sun 29 Oct, 2pm
(1960, M, 96 mins)
Gareth Sansom often takes breaks from working in his studio to watch films, with references found in his body of work. Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic film Psycho had a profound effect on Sansom, with his painting Bates Motel referencing the movie.

Cost: Free, bookings recommended Venue: Theatre, NGV Australia