The Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) and Bulgari today announced that Brisbane based artist Michael Zavros is the first recipient of the AUD$80,000 Australian BVLGARI ART AWARD.
This is the first year of a three-year partnership between the Gallery and Bulgari which, through the Art Award, allows the AGNSW to identify a significant painting by a mid-career Australian artist that will then be added to the Gallery’s collection.
One of the most valuable art awards in Australia, The Bulgari Art Award consists of a $50,000 painting acquisition for the Art Gallery of NSW and a residency in Italy valued at $30,000. The award-winner has been selected by the Art Gallery of NSW Trustees and Wayne Tunnicliffe, the head curator of Australian art.
According to Tunnicliffe, “It has been a priority to acquire a painting by Michael Zavros, a leading contemporary artist for the Art Gallery of NSW. With The Bulgari Art Award the Gallery can now work with Michael Zavros to add an exceptional work to our collection. The inclusion of a residency in Italy as a component of the award will be of great benefit and inspiration to the artist.”
One of Australia’s most prominent mid-career painters, Zavros is fascinated by beauty, luxury and decadence, and in art as the ultimate desirable unique object. In his highly finished, meticulous work, Zavros depicts the refined world of thoroughbred horses, opulent interiors, baroque country houses and gardens.
Michael Zavros graduated from the Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996. He has exhibited widely within Australia and his work is held in numerous private and public collections including: The National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, University of Queensland Art Museum and Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.
Zavros was the subject of a survey exhibition The Good Son: Works on Paper(2009) at Gold Coast City Art Gallery. His other public solo exhibitions include Everything I Wanted at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane 2003–04 and Egoiste at Wollongong Regional Gallery 2007. Recent group exhibitions include Wilderness, Art Gallery of NSW 2010, Scott Redford vs Michael Zavros at the Institute of Modern Art 2010 and Contemporary Australia: Optimism at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008. Zavros has been a four-time Archibald Prize finalist and won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2010. In 2007 he was appointed to the Board of Visual Arts of the Australia Council for the Arts.
Bulgari was founded in Rome in 1884 as a single jewellery shop, whose magnificent jewellery creations soon became emblems of Italian excellence. Throughout the last few decades Bulgari developed into a global luxury brand renowned for its highly creative design in jewels, watches and accessories, and retailing in the major luxury retail precincts of the world. Up until 2011 Bulgari was majority-owned by the Bulgari family and, though it is now part of the LVMH Group, the Bulgari family are still instrumental in the management of the Bulgari brand and the design of jewellery. International success has carried the distinctive Bulgari design into a diversified portfolio of products and services and, increasingly, hotels.
See more info on Zavros here:
and see a video of the artist at work below