Speaking to me on the phone, Miranda Wallace, senior curator of International Exhibition Projects at the National Gallery of Victoria, is palpably excited, talking a mile a minute. She has every reason to be, what with the gargantuan exhibition she and her co-curators have pulled off over the last two years. This winter, the National Gallery of Victoria will be home to 200 works from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, spanning 130 years and featuring a bevy of big name artists like Gauguin, Mondrian, Dalí and Pollock.

Piet Mondrian (Dutch, 1872–1944) Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1937-42 Oil on canvas 23 3/4 x 21 7/8″ (60.3 x 55.4 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Sidney and Harriet Janis

“I began working at the NGV in October of 2015 and started on this project that same week,” Wallace tells me. “Within four weeks I was in New York meeting my co-curators, Samantha Friedman and Juliet Kinchin. That the NGV was working with these curators of design and architecture at MoMA was a sign they wanted the show to be broader than...

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