The Curious Case of Patricia Piccinini

QUEENSLAND’S Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) has scored a coup in securing the world’s most popular contemporary artist of 2016, Patricia Piccinini, for its first ever solo exhibition by an Australian artist.

Melbourne-based Piccinini, 52, best known for her lifelike trans-species creations and the multi-breasted hot air balloon Skywhale, led the world in The Art Newspaper’s annual visitor survey for her 2016 show in Rio, Brazil.

In a week when The Courier-Mail revealed Queensland received only 13 per cent of funding from the total budget of the federal arts funding body, the Australia Council, Queensland has scored an Australian first.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the Queensland Government has invested $10.8 million over four years to bring blockbuster exhibitions such as this to the state.

Ms Piccinini said she was thrilled.

“Queensland’s doing it, they’ve got a lot of confidence in what Australian artists can do. This is a big deal, it’s not just about me, this show is about Australian art I think,” she said.

“To have an Australian artist take up all this space and have the support of the gallery to do that, it’s a coming of age for me, but also for the Australian art world.”

QAGOMA director Chris Saines said the new exhibition Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection would be its most ambitious to date, occupying all the ground floor galleries, including the children’s centre.

Opening on March 24, Piccinini is only the second artist to be honoured with a solo exhibition, after Chinese-born Cai Guo-Qiang’s 2013 show Falling Back to Earth.

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