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Updated by Joanna James on May 18, 2020
Headline for Top 5 Contemporary Art Galleries in Brisbane
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Contemporary Art Galleries in Brisbane

In the past few years, Brisbane has seen its contemporary art scene flourish. From expansive galleries exhibiting the latest works to art museums showcasing the very best pieces, many different establishments that celebrate contemporary art can be found all over the city – here're 5 of the best.


Queensland Art Gallery

The Queensland Art Gallery – also called the Museum of Modern Art – is where it all began for Brisbane's contemporary art scene. Originally opened in 2006 to complement the Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art has gone onto become one of the most famous modern and contemporary art galleries in the country. In fact, its reputation extends well beyond Australia's border, and the establishment is considered a must-visit for every contemporary art enthusiast. Being centrally located in the city, the gallery is a short drive away from most Brisbane city hotels – for example, the Oaks Brisbane Casino Tower Suites – so don't miss out on this fantastic attraction.


QUT Art Museum

Just across the river from the Museum of Modern Art, you'll find the QUT Art Museum nestled against the Brisbane's serene botanical gardens. The surrounding really set the mood for what you can expect inside. The QUT Art Museum has an absurdly large collection of contemporary paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and much more. It is also one of the best locations in Brisbane to observe and appreciate modern artwork that takes inspiration from ancient aboriginal culture. The collection on offer is capped off with over 200 different paintings from William Robinson, a renowned painter and a member of the QUT alumni.


Institute of Modern Art

Considered to be one of the earliest contemporary art galleries to be established in Australia – with construction being completed in the mid-1970s – the Institute of Modern Art is quite the treat for any art enthusiast. Not only does the institute exhibit great works, but it also encourages the development of various contemporary arts through electrifying dance, music, and cabaret performances.


Philip Bacon Galleries

Phillip bacon, the gallery's founder and namesake, was still a university student when he proposed the idea of opening an art gallery to his close circle of friends. Two of his friends were artists themselves and pushed him to go through with it and a few years down the line, the Phillip Bacon Galleries were open to the public! Nowadays, nearly 40 years after its opening, the establishment continues to draw attention from art enthusiasts around the world and showcases the works of notable artists like William Robinson, Margaret Olley, and Robert Dickerson.


Jan Murphy Gallery

Having been open to the public for over 18 years now, the Jan Murphy Gallery has cemented itself among the pantheon of great contemporary art exhibits in Brisbane. This gallery has sought to not only showcase the works of greats but to also promote the creations of young up-and-coming artists as well. As such, you'll find quite the diverse collections of paintings, sculptures, and illustrations here. This is definitely a must-visit for those planning to break into the contemporary art scene themselves as it lends them the opportunity to judge just what constitutes a great piece of art in the 21st century.