Fritz Kos Art Gallery of Western Australia 1979 (detail). State Library of Western Australia. Sourced from the collections of the State Library of Western Australia and reproduced with the permission of the Library Board of Western Australia. (160419PD).
Beautifully Brutal showcases AGWA as a place where diverse cultural influences come together in surprising ways. The Art Gallery of Western Australia’s main building is an iconic example of Brutalist architecture Marking both the 40th Anniversary of the Brutalist building in 2019 and AGWA’s 125th anniversary in 2020, Beautifully Brutal features roaming video that explores the Gallery’s original design features and reveals the beauty within what some consider to be an impenetrable exterior. This architectural study is juxtaposed with significant works from AGWA’s collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, acknowledging the opening of a major new collection exhibition - Balancing Act - that places Indigenous art front and centre in the gallery experience.
The project launches at a transformational time for AGWA as the rooftop development fulfils the architect’s original plan to make AGWA’s upper level publicly accessible, making the Gallery a true point of connection between the cultural centre and the city. As new gallery spaces develop under the construction site cladding, Beautifully Brutal projects the Gallery’s past and present on the site that is manifesting this rich and long-term civic vision for the future.