Image: Gertrude Contemporary, Preston South. Courtesy of Edition Office. Photo: Ben Hosking
GERTRUDE IS AUSTRALIA’S LEADING INCUBATOR OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Respected nationally and internationally, Gertrude has proven our impact for over 30 years shaping the careers of Australia’s most celebrated artists.
85% of artists who have represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, or have been curated into the Biennale, since Gertrude’s founding in 1985 are our studio and exhibition alumni.
As a non-commercial and independent space, Gertrude offers artists freedom for risk-taking, innovation and ambition.
Our artistic program – including our studio and exhibition program – is unique in its equal emphasis on the production and presentation of contemporary art. This enables us to back great artists to explore new ideas and present risk-taking work at pivotal points in their careers.
Gertrude gives audiences unique insight into the creative development of artists. Our audiences engage with risk-taking, formative moments that define artist careers.
The Gertrude Studio Program sits at the heart of our organisation in our primary premises in Preston South. The highly competitive application–based program supports 16 artists for a two–year period, with 8 artists invited to join the program each year. Gertrude is committed to supporting artists at key moments in the development of their practice, to represent an inter–generational selection of artists, and to support a diverse range of artistic practices. The selection of artists is by a competitive application process led by an advisory committee.
The Gertrude Contemporary exhibition program is presented at our primary galleries in Preston South. The program supports leading Australian and international artists to research, develop and present new projects that reflect the artistic, cultural, social and political issues of our times. The program celebrates Gertrude's commitment to supporting solo projects that are artist driven and explore the diversity of contemporary artistic practice, as well as enabling platforms for curatorial experimentation by engaging with independent curators and developing internally generated projects.
Gertrude Glasshouse is our satellite gallery space in Collingwood, and the home for the Gertrude Studio Artist solo exhibition program. During their two-year residency at Gertrude, every artist in the Studio Program is invited to develop an ambitious, new project that extends upon their work in the studios. Glasshouse is also used to present select additional exhibitions that align with our commitment to supporting the production of new projects and discourse.
Complementary to our programming at our two Melbourne locations, Gertrude's off-site program works in partnership with Australian and international organisations to develop specific projects that provide additional opportunities for artists and extend audiences for their works.
Gertrude Contemporary was established in 1983 as series of artist studios at 200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy in a converted textiles factory. In 1985 it led the way as Australia’s first combined gallery and studio complex, a model it continues to operate today. First established under the name of 200 Gertrude Street, from the outset the organisation was dedicated to the production and presentation of experimental and contemporary art.
The organisation expanded, transforming from an address to an entity, and changing its name along the way to Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in 2000 and then to Gertrude Contemporary in 2010.
In July 2017, Gertrude Contemporary relocated its primary venue to 21-31 High Street, Preston South, converting a furniture warehouse of yesteryear into a thriving hub of arts practice.
As Melbourne’s leading centre for contemporary art and ideas, the organisation has continued to build on its innovative origins, growing to facilitate the expanding field of contemporary art through a wide variety of exhibition, studio, curatorial, education and public programs. With artists firmly placed at the centre of all of our activities, we champion risk and experimentation.
Since 1985 we have accumulated a vast alumni of past exhibiting and studio artists including some of Australia’s leading names in contemporary art. This community of Australia’s most pivotal contemporary artists has expanded in recent years to include our increasing international presence, with leading artists and curators from all over the world joining us on residency and exhibiting in our galleries. As a key generator for ideas in Australia, and with the momentum of our history behind us, Gertrude Contemporary is now one of the oldest, continually running contemporary art centres in Australia.
If you would like more information of Gertrude Contemporary, we recommend reading our 20 year anniversary book ‘A short ride in a fast machine: Gertrude Contemporary 1985 – 2005’ or contacting the gallery on firstname.lastname@example.org