Grau Projekt, artist-curated drinking in Clifton Hill

Cool Sh*t, Film & Art, Melbourne, Play / 16 October 2018

Grau Projekt is ‘artist-curated drinking’, a new concept in Melbourne nightlife from artist-slash-bar owner Matt Bax

Matt Bax, the mastermind behind Melbourne’s Bar Americano, Der Raum, Bar Economico and Munich’s Gamsei, is opening his new venue in Melbourne next month. It’s not a bar, but you can drink there. His new venture is Grau Projekt, a contemporary art space, with lofty ambitions. Matt believes that the commercial art gallery model is pretty much broken and art is too often pushed to the back of the entertainment queue. As and artist and bar owner, Matt’s bringing his expertise from both fields together for something entirely new.
Matt sees the Grau Projekt experience is a night out with art; of course, his expertise in cocktails is in the spotlight. Grau Projekt’s signature manoeuvre is a concept he has coined ‘artist-curated drinking’: every show will be celebrated with a collaborative cocktail, dreamed up between the artist, Matt and his team to enhance the mood and philosophy of their show. Another ambitious initiative of the program is dedicated to creating new collectors. A small number of works with every show will be offered at a heavily subsidised price. These pieces will be held in reserve until the public openings and are expected to be one of the most anticipated activations of the gallery.
Grau Projekt is located in a 1050 sqm. industrial warehouse at the end of Smith Street, where Collingwood greets Clifton Hill, with dwarfing ceilings and city views. Legend has it an underground rave took place in this warehouse, a wild three-day non-stop party.
‘It’s really museum proportions, I can’t think of another commercial gallery in Australia of this scale. In fact, few in the world rivals this size. It’s comical how I went from the smallest bar to the biggest commercial gallery in Australia.’
Grau Projekt’s public openings will be ticketed events which grant entry and include a signature artist-curated cocktail. The first event is Cockrocker Vernissage and your ticket will include a ‘cock-tail’ #geddit
Tickets are on sale now here

Matt Bax
Images by John Laurie