Opened on 2 October 1979 by then Premier Charles Court, the new Art Gallery of WA building was a dramatic example of late Brutalist architecture designed by Polish born Charles Sierakowski.
This exhibition opens out the many layers of the history of the building’s development featuring images of the building in construction and its early days, along with ephemera such as building models, plans, diagrams and drawings, and early promotional brochures about the structure and its place in the Cultural Centre (now undergoing its biggest development since 1979 with the WA Museum project).
The iconic structure marked the end of a 10 year building boom and had been dreamt of for years before that by Gallery Director Frank Norton, whose own international researches and design thinking also fed the building’s final form.
AGWA 1979 – A Brutalist Gallery in Perth
In celebration of the Gallery buildings 40th anniversary and the exhibition Perth Brutal: Dreaming in Concrete this limited edition publication is a concise overview of the new gallery project and its place within the Cultural Centre. It includes a biographical sketch of Charles Sierakowski, a factual history of the building’s construction, how gallery spaces were conceived and how they have changed over time. It also explores how various exhibitions have utilised them, how directors, curators and exhibition designers have engaged with them, to local architectural significance and context, as well as the building’s inspiration, influence and legacy.
Contributing authors include, AGWA Curators; Robert Cook, Melissa Harpley and Dunja Rmandic. It also contains essays from Patrick Ford, Annette Condello, Merindah Bairnsfather-Scott, Noel Nannup and Andrew Murray.
$32.95, available from the AGWA Shop.
Guided Tours | FREE
2-3pm, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays
Join an AGWA Voluntary Gallery Guide on a tour that examines Brutalist features of the building and how they fit into the thinking that underpins its design. A viewing of early images and drawings of the building conclude the tour.
Open House Perth
FREE, bookings required
In celebration of Open House Perth the Perth Brutal guided tours over the weekend of Sat 16 and Sun 17 November will examine the Art Gallery of Western Australia building as an artwork and Brutalist icon of Perth architectural history. Visitors will be able to view the exhibition Perth Brutal: Dreaming in Concrete on the same theme as part of the tour.
Guided tours run at 11am and 2pm over this weekend.
Please book your place via the Open House Perth website.