Chaos & Order – 120 years of collecting at RMIT

Chaos & Order celebrates over 80 Australian and international artists in an ambitious survey of the RMIT Art Collection.


Join us at the opening night of Chaos & Order : 120 years of collecting at RMIT.

Thursday 12 April 6-8 pm 2018 at RMIT Gallery

To be opened by

Mr Terry Wu

Art patron & collector

A riot of painting, sculpture, photography, sound and new media, the exhibition embraces the contradictions inherent in public art collections. How does one reconcile the academic style of Rupert Bunny with the minimalism of Robert Hunter, or the hyperrealism of Sam Jinks, without retreating to historical narrative?

Public collections can be paradoxical beasts. They strive to adhere to strict criteria (chronology, style or taxonomy; art history, theory and criticism) or be encyclopaedic in their holdings, but are as frequently defined by what they have failed to acquire. Just as often, the curiosities, outsiders and novelties that fall outside the stated ambit of a collection prove to be its great successes: serendipity uncovers many hidden treasures. Chaos underlies the myth of order.

Besides being a showcase for the work of alumni and staff, who rank among the most highly-regarded artists the country has produced, the intended purpose of the RMIT art collection is to tell the story of the university, its ideals and aspirations.

Chaos & Order takes this broad remit, and demonstrates the impossibility of a definitive narrative that accurately traces the evolution of artistic style, thought and technique across decades and generations. Instead, it suggests visual, poetic, thematic, and emotional relationships between works created over the past 100 years, and dispenses with the restrictive dictates of historical, technical or stylistic categories.

 Chaos & Order is a collaboration between RMIT Gallery and the RMIT School of Art MA Arts Management program.


Curator Jon Buckingham

Curatorial assistants [RMIT MA Arts Management]  Ellie Collins, Adelaide Gandrille, Marybel Schwartz, Valerie Sim, Sophie Weston


Steve Stelios Adam, Tate Adams, Khadim Ali, Rick Amor, Howard Arkley, Ali Baba Awrang, George Baldessin, Ros Bandt, Stephen Benwell, Chris Bond, Natalie Bookchin, Peter Booth, Polly Borland, John Brack, Godwin Bradbeer, Philip Brophy, Rupert Bunny, Penny Byrne, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Peter Clarke, Jock Clutterbuck, Michael Cook, Timothy Cook, Noel Counihan, Len Crawford, Daniel Crooks, Augustine Dall’Ava, Craig Easton, Mark Edgoose, Lindsay Edward, Sarah Edwards, Henning Eichinger, Nina Ellis, Peter Ellis, Neil Emmerson, Emily Floyd, Juan Ford, Hayden Fowler, Nigel Frayne, Len French, Sally Gabori, Rosalie Gascoigne, Euan Gray, Nathan Gray, Robert Grieve, Helga Groves, Stephen Haley, Bill Henson, Petr Herel, Dale Hickey, Clare Humphries, Robert Hunter, Robert Jacks, Sam Jinks, George Johnson, Alan Johnston, Vincas Jomantas, Roger Kemp, Grahame King, Inge King, Robin Kingston, Juz Kitson, Andrew Last, Sam Leach, Grace Lillian Lee, Lindy Lee, Xiao Xian Liu, Jenny Loft, George Matoulas, Helen Maudsley, Clement Meadmore, Karen Mills, Hisaharu Motoda, Nick Mourtzakis, Albert Namatjira, Anne Newmarch, Trevor Nickolls, John Olsen, Jill Orr, Claude Pannka, Polixeni Papapetrou, Mike Parr, Susan Philipsz, Anthony Pryor, Douglas Quin, Clare Rae, Hugh Ramsay, Norma Redpath, Reko Rennie, Klaus Rinke, Kate Rohde, Gareth Sansom, Yhonnie Scarce, Marlene Scerri, Barry Schache, Greg Semu, Jan Senbergs, Wolfgang Sievers, Jeffrey Smart, Bruce Slatter, Studio of Domenico Brucciani, Wilma Tabacco, Antoni Tapies, David Thomas, Christian Thompson, Kawita Vatanajyankur, Darren Wardle, Chris Watson, Charles Wheeler, Fred Williams, Ah Xian, Yirawala


Opening night: Thursday 12 April 6-8 pm



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Chaos & Order – 120 years of collecting at RMIT, part 1

Virtual Tour

Chaos & Order – 120 years of collecting at RMIT, part 2

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