9 Unmissable Exhibitions To See In 2023!

The start of the new year means a whole years’ worth of exhibitions and art to look forward to – and there’s plenty to get excited about in 2023!

From the incredible Alexander McQueen exhibition on now at the NGV, to an exciting showcase of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s iconic works headed for South Australia, here are the must-see exhibitions we’re saving the date for this year.

Christina Karras

The Bride who Becomes Frightened when she Sees Life Opened, 1943 oil on canvas, by Frida Kahlo, from The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism.

Left: Diego on my Mind, 1943, oil on Masonite, by Frida Kahlo, from The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism.

Right: Sunflowers, 1943, oil on canvas, by Frida Kahlo, from The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism.

Christina Karras
27th of January 2023


Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution
24 June – 17 September 2023
Art Gallery of South Australia

If you’ve ever wanted to see the mesmerising and iconic works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in real life, we have good news. A major exhibition, Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, is coming to the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The showcase will feature more than 150 pieces from Frida, Diego, and their contemporaries, in an effort to explore the radical influence of one of the most influential creative couples of the 20th century. Expect to be immersed in their radical and passionate art, while looking back on Mexico’s art world – from the beginnings of the Mexican cultural revolution to Kahlo and Rivera’s turbulent love affair. It’s an Australian-exclusive, so start planning your trip to Adelaide!

Left: Piltati, by Leah Brady, acrylic on linen, from APY Art Centre Collective.

Right: Artists Naomi Kantjuriny and Mona Mitakiki.

Ngura Pulka – Epic Country
1 June – 8 October 2023
Art Gallery of Australia

Ngura Pulka – Epic Country is one of the largest and most significant First Nations community-driven art projects to have ever been developed, and its set to take over the National Gallery of Australia later this year. It’s particularly special given that all parts of the exhibition are being entirely conceived, created, directed, and determined by Aṉangu people.

See vibrant pieces by 21 artists and the APY Art Centre Collective that reflect the power and vitality of Aṉangu art and the strength of Aṉangu culture, community, and Country.


Left: Photo – Felicity Jenkins for AGNSW.

Right: Winner Archibald Prize 2022, Blak Douglas, ‘Moby Dickens‘.

Left: ‘Liz Laverty’ by Richard Lewer. Photo – Mim Stirling for AGNSW.

Middle: ‘Dear Brett (the blue room)’ by Natasha Walsh. Photo – Mim Stirling for AGNSW.

Right: ‘Ella Simons’ by Yvette Coppersmith. Photo – Jenni Carter for AGNSW.

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2023
May 6 – September 3 2023
Art Gallery of New South Wales

Every year we look forward to the Archibald Prize: Australia’s oldest portrait award and arguably the most prestigious accolade in the Australian visual arts world.

Hundreds of entries by some of Australia’s artists best are whittled down to a shortlist of just 52 finalists. But before the winner is revealed, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will display the top pieces in a highly anticipated exhibition! The Wynne Prize will have a similar showcase for its striking landscape paintings, while the Sulman Prize – awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project – is another major event!

Left: Eagle’s Eye, ‘Bush Tobacco Dreaming,’ by y Jeannie Nungarrayi Egan (1948 – 2009).

Right: Night Sky, ‘Dreamy’, featuring artwork by Carmen Glynn-Braun. Photos – Parrtjimba 2022.

Left: Grounded, ‘Colours of the Desert’, by Mary James.

Right: Grounded, ‘Kaalpa (Kalypa) Canning Stock Route Well 23’, by Corban Clause Williams. Photos – Parrtjima 2022.

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light
April 7 – 16 2023
Mparntwe/Alice Springs

Parrtjima is your chance to experience the Northern Territory like you’ve never seen it before – lit up in colourful, interactive lights! Set in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, the 10-night festival is the only Aboriginal light festival of its kind, showcasing ‘the world’s oldest continuous culture through the newest technology’.

This year’s theme is ‘Listening with Heart’ – inspired by the artwork surrounding the Uluru Statement from the Heart – and will feature an incredible program of light installations, artworks, performances, interactive workshops, music, film and talks. The best part is, it’s free!


Installation views of Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse. Headpieces by Michael Schmidt. Photo – Tom Ross.


Left: Installation views of Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse. Photo – Tom Ross.

Right: Installation view of Robert Fairer’s photographs in Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse. Photo – Tom Ross.


Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse
Until April 16 2023
National Gallery of Victoria

Chances are you’ve seen snippets of the NGV’s Alexander McQueen exhibition all over social media since it opened, but it doesn’t compare to the full experience of seeing it for yourself! In partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the spectacle champions the life and work of visionary fashion designer Alexander McQueen, with beautifully themed rooms, an immersive soundscape, and photographs of some of his most iconic runway moments.

See more than 120 garments and accessories alongside other paintings, sculptures, textiles, and more that offer a rare insight into the designer’s far-reaching sources of inspiration – from the mythology of ancient Greece and Egypt to contemporary themes like climate change and evolution.

Left: Vincent Namatjira with his work Going Out Bush at Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide presented as part of Illuminate Adelaide 2022. Photo – Sia Duff.

Right: Albert Namatjira, Slim Dusty and Archie Roach on Country, by Vincent Namatjira, courtesy of Iwantja Arts.

Vincent Namatjira: Australia in colour
October 20 2023 – January 21 2024
Art Gallery of South Australia

Western Aranda artist Vincent Namatjira is one of our country’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. In 2020, he became the first Aboriginal person to win the Archibald Prize, and later this year, the AGSA is gearing up to host an exciting first survey exhibition of his work.

Known for approaching Australia’s history and politics through a modern lens, expect to see a thought-provoking collection of some of his best paintings and artworks as part of the gallery’s annual Tarnanthi Festival.

Left: 2022 Telstra NATSIAA installation view. Courtesy of MAGNT/Mark Sherwood.

Right: ‘Antara’, by Tuppy Ngintja Goodwin.

Right: ‘Kulyakartu’, by Muuki Taylor OAM.

Lower middle: ‘Ngura (Country)’,  by Iwantja Men’s Collaborative Alec Baker, Eric Barney, ‘Kunmanara (Peter) Mungkuri OAM.

Upper middle: ‘Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country)’, by Betty Muffler.

Right: ‘Dhomala (pandanus sail)’, by Margaret Rarru Garrawurra.

Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA)
Announced 11 August 2023
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Did you know Telstra NATSIAA is Australia’s richest art awards? Each year the prestigious event dishes out an impressive $190,000 across its major prize winners – and invites all of us to celebrate the immense talent of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in a major exhibition.

Featuring everything from general paintings and bark paintings, to works on paper and 3D artworks, it’s the perfect excuse to travel up to Darwin for the presentation at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory!

Right: ‘Colossal Amphora’, by Caro Pattle. Photo – Henry Trumble.

Left: ‘Gathering Space: Ngargee Djeembana’, by N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM and Sarah Lyn Rees. Photo – Andrew Curtis.

Left: Melbourne Now 2023 artists and designers. Photo – Eugene Hyland.

Right: ‘Constellate Vase’, by Jordan Fleming

Melbourne Now
March 24 – August 20 2023
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

If you love contemporary art as much as us, save the date for Melbourne Now at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. The exhibition shines a spotlight on more than 200 Victorian creatives who are doing something amazing across industries of fashion, jewellery, painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, video, performance, printmaking, and publishing. Safe to say, it’s a mammoth showcase!

And this year, we’re particularly excited to see a line-up of some TDF faves and familiar faces, including the likes of Meagan Streader, Mia Boe, Caro Pattle and many more.

Left: ‘All The Things I Should Have Said That I Never Said,’ by David Sequeira. Photo – Christian Capurro.

Right: ‘Tanpa Sempadan’, by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah.

9th TarraWarra Biennial
April 1 – July 16 2023
TarraWarra Museum of Art

Last but certainly not least, the 9th TarraWarra Biennial is set to be another highlight on the contemporary art calendar. The art museum in Victoria’s Yarra Valley will exhibit a line-up of newly commissioned works by 15 artists and artist groups from across Australia, Asia, and the Great Ocean.

The theme for 2023 is all about the interconnectedness of these artists. And despite being hosted in Victoria, it promises to take audiences across several island groups, from West Asia’s Borneo to Fiji’s Viti Levu.

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