SIXTY works from Australia’s icons of art were officially revealed last night, as Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu opened the Australian Modern Masterpieces exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. The exhibition, which includes 40 of the most important 20th century Australian paintings on loan from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, will run until November 27. Mr Baillieu said the exhibition cemented the gallery’s role as the leading regional arts institution in Australia. “The long history of the gallery and its collection will be complemented and admired by many more visitors as a result of this exhibition. “The work of the gallery board and staff in bringing together this exhibition is to be commended,” he said. Joined by chairman of the gallery board Garry Taylor, City of Ballarat mayor Craig Fletcher and sponsors, Mr Baillieu welcomed the outgoing director and chief curator of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Dr Edmund Capon. He said the works by artists, including Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, John Brack and Margaret Olly, would boost visitor numbers in Ballarat and continue the gallery’s long history of leading exhibitions. The exhibition was made by possible an upcoming Picasso exhibition at the Sydney gallery, which required some permanent collection works to be temporarily removed from the walls. After Ballarat, the exhibition will travel to the Newcastle Art Gallery, which has also loaned a single work by artist William Dobell. Twenty works from the permanent Ballarat collection are included in the exhibition. Mr Baillieu said a work by his favourite artist, John Brack, was included in the collection, alongside works by many other Victorian artists. More than 100 people toured the exhibition space following the official opening.