We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Read about our COVID-safe plans and what you need to know before visiting.


Just before the most significant events, people are particularly prone to deny the possibilities of the future. (cause all we're doing is learning how to die)



Tomislav Nikolic


1970 –

  • Details

    Media categories
    Mixed media painting , Painting
    Materials used
    acrylic polymer, marble dust, 24ct gold leaf, 12ct white gold leaf, copper leaf, museum acrylic on canvas and wood
    186.4 x 236.5 x 17.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Art Gallery of New South Wales, Bulgari Art Award 2017
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Tomislav Nikolic

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Tomislav Nikolic

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Completed over a four-year period, Tomislav Nikolic's exceptional abstract work has hundreds of layers of paint in which the specific shades of reds, whites and blacks and the many other colours in this work become hard to discern within the overall dazzling chromatic effect. The frame was also carefully chosen by Nikolic as an integral part of the final painting, emphasising a holistic experience of both and that the work is as much an object in the viewer's space as an image hanging on a wall.

    Nikolic's practice is research based and the chromatic origin point for this painting was Caravaggio's 'Judith beheading Holofernes', which was also painted over four years, from 1599-1602. The emotional quality of colour and its ability to suggest spiritual dimensions are key to Nikolic's practice, an aspect also conveyed in the painting's title. The first part of this is taken from the writings of Alice Baily, an early 20th century Theosophical author, and the second part from lyrics by American singer-songwriter John Grant.

    Tomislav Nikolic is the sixth recipient of the Bulgari Art Award which was launched by Bulgari and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2012. The past recipients are Jude Rae, Ildiko Kovacs, Daniel Boyd, Jon Cattapan and Michael Zavros.

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 8 publications

Other works by Tomislav Nikolic