GOMA revs up for next summer blockbuster exhibition

A world-exclusive exhibition showcasing the art, design and history of the motorcycle is set to get motors running when it opens at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) next summer.

Minister for Science and the Arts Leeanne Enoch today announced The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire would feature the most iconic, innovative and influential motorcycles created over the last 150 years.

“Motorcycles have been a mainstay of popular culture for decades and continue to provide endless fascination for millions of people around the world and this one-of-a-kind exhibition which will take over the entire ground floor of GOMA from November,” Minister Enoch said.

“This thrilling and immersive installation experience will not be shown anywhere else in the world and promises to captivate local and visiting audiences to Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s blockbuster funding provides funding of $4 million over two years (2019–2020 and 2020–2021) for QAGOMA to support exclusive exhibitions like this in Queensland, attracting visitors to our state and enhancing our reputation as a globally significant visual arts destination.”

“Securing blockbuster exhibitions like The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire, emphasises Queensland’s standing as a leading cultural destination and because investing in events supports local jobs.”

Minister Enoch said The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire would delight motorcycle enthusiasts and anyone curious about social history, popular culture, design and technology.

“The exhibition promises to tap into the appeal of this iconic object of design and art, providing an exclusive insight into the past, present and future” Ms Enoch said.

“To date, the Palaszczuk Government’s support for exclusive exhibitions through QAGOMA has generated almost $85 million, with close to 78,000 people travelling to Queensland specifically for these events.

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire would feature more than 100 motorcycles from the 1860s to the present day, drawn from private and public collections across the globe.

“It includes the earliest 19th century steam-powered motorcycle, right through to electric motorcycles and exciting design propositions for the future,’ Mr Saines said.

“Over its 150-year history, the motorcycle has undergone extraordinary reinvention, from steam power to petrol fuelled internal combustion engines to battery, and from humble backyard creations to custom-made, high-tech chrome speed machines.

“The Motorcycle is curated by renowned design curators, physicist Professor Charles M. Falco and writer and filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle, in collaboration with QAGOMA,” he said.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • A 1868 Michaux-Perraux, the first steam powered velocipede and oldest known motorcycle in the world.
  • The earliest Australian designed and built machines including a Spencer produced in Brisbane in 1906.
  • A 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that set an Australian land speed record in its day and more recently a world record for the highest price paid at auction for a motorcycle.
  • Symbols of speed from a 1930s Triumph Speed Twin to a 1970s Ducati 750 Super Sport to the 1990s Britten V1000.
  • Off-road motorcycles highlighting a rich history of bikes built for dust and dirt.
  • Customised motorcycles at the intersection of art and design.
  • Ultra-modern electric motorcycles, demonstrating the future of transportation in the age of renewable energy.

Exclusive to Queensland this summer, The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire opens at Brisbane’s GOMA from 28 November 2020 to 26 April 2021.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a public program, Up Late events and a film program in GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque.

For tickets please visit www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/themotorcycle.

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