Zavros unveils AGNSW commission - Art Collector

23 July 2012 | The result of Michael Zavros’s $50,000 commission for the Art Gallery of New South Wales was unveiled last week.

The commission was made as part of the gallery’s new Bulgari Art Award. As the inaugural recipient, Zavros won an Italian residency worth $30,000 and the $50,000 commission for the gallery’s collection.

The result is a painting called
The New Round Room, which places a weightlifting bench in the Round Room at the Palace of Versailles, an apartment once occupied by Louis XIV. “With this unexpected juxtaposition, Zavros has turned this historic room into a contemporary gymnasium,” comments Wayne Tunnicliffe, the gallery’s head curator of Australian art.

“The placement of the gym equipment in this setting spins the painting into a contemplation of narcissism and desire, of vanity and even vanitas, of the passing of time and human beauty.

“There is no one benchpressing weights, but the equipment awaits a user and suggests a contemporary pursuit of physical perfection which has echoes in the pursuit of architectural perfection in the building and the perfecting of nature in the highly cultivated gardens.”

Jane O'Sullivan

Above: Michael Zavros, The New Round Room, 2012. Courtesy: the artist

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