Michael Zavros Bad Dad
2 – 28 June 2014
Leading Australian artist Michael Zavros will exhibit for the first time with Starkwhite in Auckland in June 2014. While Zavros has exhibited previously in New Zealand at Auckland Artspace in 2005 (Uncanny (the unnaturally strange)), and at Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth in 2007 (New Nature), this will be his first solo exhibition in New Zealand. Bad Dad brings together new paintings and drawings with a selection of important past works borrowed from private, public and the artist’s own collections in a curated exhibition that will offer a New Zealand audience an introduction to the artist’s rich and complex oeuvre.
Bad Dad features key paintings and drawings rendered with the artist’s characteristic attention to fine detail, including the artist’s self-portrait of the same name, from 2013, Phoebe is dead/McQueen from 2010, which won the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, as well as the film We dance in the studio (to that shit on the radio), 2010, the only film the artist has made, which has been shown in museums throughout Australia and South East Asia.
New works produced for Starkwhite include Phoebe is eight/Tom Ford, 2014, a miniature painting that expands on an ongoing series of works the artist has made in collaboration with his eldest child, three of which are included in Bad Dad. The painting is emblematic of the artist’s meditations on narcissism and vanity as well as fatherhood. Zavros observes that, “to some degree, the works collected here are all a form of self-portraiture. They elucidate something of my character and my ongoing critical concerns as an artist. They are the result of the intertwining of both.”
These works will show alongside The Poodle, 2014 a still life featuring hydrangeas arranged in crystal vases to resemble a standard poodle, witty in its decadent allusions to art history. The Rabbit takes a similar approach with a sentimental sweetness that evokes something darkly Disney. Collectively these new works are a melange of baroque and pop influences. Zavros acknowledges the legacy of Jeff Koons, while considering the impermanence and folly of existence, and of art itself.
Zavros said, “I am excited to show with Starkwhite, a gallery with an exciting international focus and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Bad Dad will be officially opened by Rhana Devenport, Director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki on Saturday May 31 who is also contributing an interview with the artist for the exhibition catalogue.
Michael Zavros will also show with Starkwhite as part of the Melbourne Art Fair in August 2014.
Michael Zavros was born in 1974 and graduated from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996.
In 2012 Zavros was awarded the inaugural Bulgari Art Award through the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2010 he was awarded the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the world’s richest prize for portraiture. He has won three major Australian drawing prizes: the 2002 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the 2005 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize and the 2007 Kedumba Drawing Award, and has been a multiple Archibald Prize finalist.
He was the recipient of the 2004 MCA Primavera Collex Art Award.
Zavros’s international exhibitions include Selectively Revealed, an Asialink and Experimenta Media Arts touring exhibition of Korea, Indonesia in 2011/2012, Thailand New Natureat Govett Brewster Gallery, New Zealand in 2007, Uncanny (the unnaturally strange), Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand and Quiet Collision: Current Practice/Australian Style, Associazione ViaFarini, Milan, Italy 2003.
Zavros’s group exhibitions include Wilderness at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2010, Scott Redford Vs Michael Zavros at the Institute of Modern Art, 2010, Contemporary Australia: Optimism at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008, andPrimavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2000.
Solo exhibitions include The Prince, Rockhampton Art Gallery touring to Griffith University Art Gallery 2013, The Good Son: Works on Paper, a survey exhibition in 2009 at Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Everything I wanted at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane in 2003/2004 and Egoisteat, Wollongong Regional Gallery, 2007.
He has been the recipient of several international residencies including the Australia Council Milan studio residency in 2001, and the Barcelona studio in both 2005 and 2010. In 2003 he was awarded a Cite International des Arts Residency in Paris through the Power Institute, University of Sydney. In 2004 he was awarded a studio residency at the Gunnery Studios, Sydney, from the NSW Ministry for the Arts.
In October 2014 he will take up the Australia Council Greene Street Studio n New York.
He has been the chosen for several commissions, the most recent of which is a portrait of Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith for the Australian War Memorial.
His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including The National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery, University of Queensland Art Museum, Tasmanian Museum and Gallery, Artbank, National Portrait Gallery, Collex, ABN AMRO, Griffith University Art Collection, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Grafton Regional Art Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Tweed River Art Gallery, Wollongong City Art Gallery.