(Australia 1974– )
200.0 x 160.0cm stretcher
The Bulgari Art Award for contemporary painting has enabled the Gallery to acquire an exceptional work by Michael Zavros for our permanent collection. 'The new Round Room' is a meticulously detailed oil on canvas of the interior of the Grand Trianon in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. It exhibits both Zavros’ exceptional technical facility and his fascination with the cultural achievements of the European aristocracy and the French ancien régime – the buildings, gardens and interiors created with unlimited wealth and power.
The Trianon was designed by Jules Hardouin Mansart in close consultation with Louis XIV as a smaller palace from which to escape the pomp and formality of the court at Versailles. The room itself is an exquisite and intact 17th century vestibule to the Grand Apartment occupied by Louis XIV for just three years from 1688 to 1691. Zavros has painted a view from inside the room looking out through a window to the famous formal gardens which surround the Trianon.
The details of the lavish interior have been painted by Zavros: the inlaid floor of black, white and mottled brown marble, panelled walls, columns framing the window embrasure, the large chandelier and elaborate later Napoleonic period torcheres. Strikingly positioned in front of the window however is a weight lifting bench, in one surreal juxtaposition Zavros has turned this historic room into a contemporary gymnasium.
The placement of the gym equipment in this setting suggests the painting is also a contemplation of narcissism and desire, of vanity and even vanitas, of the passing of time and human beauty. There is no one bench pressing weights, but the equipment awaits a user and suggests a contemporary pursuit of physical perfection which has echoes in the earlier pursuit of architectural perfection in the building and the human perfection of nature in the highly cultivated gardens.
Robin Amadie, Wentworth Courier 25 Jul 2012, 'Bulgari Art Award Dinner', pg. 34, Sydney, 25 Jul 2012, 34. Zavros is pictured standing in front of the painting.
Patricia Anderson, Australian art review Sep 2012-Oct 2012, 'Bulgari: a celebration of perfection', pg. 30-32, New South Wales, Sep 2012-Oct 2012, 30 (colour illus.), 32.
Antonette Collins, www.abc.net.au 19 Jul 2012, 'Art Gallery buys award winning work', n.pag., Australia, 19 Jul 2012, n.pag.. viewed 09.11.2012, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-19/bulgari-award-winner/4141360
Andrew Hornery, The Sydney Morning Herald 21 Jul 2012-22 Jul 2012, 'Worth weights', pg. 28, Sydney, 21 Jul 2012-22 Jul 2012, 28.
Carolyn McDowall., The culture concept circle 19 Jul 2012, ‘Bulgari Art Award – The New Round Room by Michael Zavros’, South Yarra, 19 Jul 2012, (colour illus.). viewed 31.08.2012, http://www.thecultureconcept.com/circle/tag/michael-zavros
Paul McGeough (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald 20 Jul 2012, ‘For a fit king’ in The Diary, pg. 16, Sydney, 20 Jul 2012, 15 (colour illus.). Zavros is pictured standing in front of the painting.
Maurice O'Riordan, Art Monthly Australia Aug 2012, 'Contents', pg. 1, Canberra, Aug 2012, cover (colour illus.), 1 (colour illus.).
Jane O'Sullivan, Australian art collector online 23 Jul 2012, 'Zavros unveils AGNSW commission', n.pag., Sydney, 23 Jul 2012, n.pag. (colour illus.). viewed 9.11.2012, http://www.artcollector.net.au/ZavrosunveilsAGNSWcommission
Mitchell Oakley Smith., Manuscript 26 Jun 2012, 'Introducing: Michael Zavros', East Sydney, 26 Jun 2012. viewed 31.08.2012, www.manuscriptdaily.com/2012/06/introducing-michael-zavros.html
Alexandria Spring., Vogue 19 Jul 2012, 'Michael Zavros's Bulgari Art Award painting unveiled in Sydney', Sydney, 19 Jul 2012, (colour illus.). viewed 31.08.2012, http://www.vogue.com.au/fashion/vogue+loves/michael+zavross+%20bulgari+art+award+painting+unveiled+in+sydney,18731
Deborah Stone (Editor), www.artshub.com.au 19 Jul 2012, 'Bulgari Art Award winner unveils new painting' bu author unknown, n.pag, Australia, 19 Jul 2012, n.pag. (colour illus.). viewed 09.11.2012, http://au.artshub.com/au/news-article/news/arts/bulgari-art-award-winner-unveils-new-painting-190603
Matthew Westwood, The Australian 20 Jul 2012, ‘Painter’s ‘folly’ is worth the weights’, pg. 15, Canberra, 20 Jul 2012, 15 (colour illus.). Zavros is pictured standing in front of the painting.
Michael Zavros, The Australian 20 Jul 2012, ‘I don’t want blood oozing out of the walls’, pg. 15, Canberra, 20 Jul 2012, 15.