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Michael Zavros awarded new $80,000 BVLGARI ART AWARD

Announced today, 12 April 2012

Michael Zavros in his studio

The Art Gallery of NSW and Bulgari announced today that Michael Zavros is the first recipient of THE BVLGARI ART AWARD.

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 total award of $80,000 is one of the most valuable art awards in Australia. The award-winner has been selected by the Art Gallery of NSW Trustees and the head curator of Australian art.

Michael Zavros is 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.

Wayne Tunnicliffe, head curator Australian art, said:
“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.”

Julie Ann Morrison, managing director of Bulgari Australia, said:
“Bulgari’s support of the arts is born of its heritage – the creativity of Bulgari jewels and Bulgari style has long been recognised as significant in the history of the decorative arts of the twentieth century. Through our collaboration with the Art Gallery of NSW to create the Bulgari Art Award, we have found an inspirational way of contributing to the promotion of contemporary Australian painting.”

Michael Zavros, Wayne Tunnicliffe and Julie Ann Morrison will be available for interviews and photos today at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The award will be officially presented to Michael Zavros tonight, Thursday 12 April, at a gala dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney Opera House. Giampaolo Della Croce, senior director of Bulgari High Jewellery worldwide and based in Rome, will be in Sydney to present the award at the dinner with 100 prominent arts identities and Bulgari clients.

Note to editors

Michael Zavros
Brisbane-based Michael Zavros graduated from the Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996. Zavros 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.

For further information please contact:

Art Gallery of NSW: Claire Martin, 02 9225 1734,

BVLGARI: Trent Power, 02 8257 1006,