Melbourne-based artist Tomislav Nikolic has won the $80,000 2017 Bulgari Art Award for his demanding large-scale painting titled 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).
Inspired by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s piece Judith beheading Holofernes, Nikolic’s award-winning work was completed over the course of four years using hundreds of layers of acrylic paint in specific shades of red, white and black, in an act to convey the emotional quality of colour and its ability to communicate complex metaphorical and symbolic narratives.
“The chromatic intensity that Tomislav builds using hundreds of layers of paint results in an incredible and deeply physical experience – an experience we know our visitors will relish and we are delighted to receive it into our collection,” Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales said.
Awarded to mid-career Australian painters, the Bulgari Art Award consists of $50,000 for the acquisition of a painting to the Gallery’s collection and a residency for the artist in Rome, Italy, worth $30,000.
Now in its sixth-year, the award was first launched by Bulgari and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in 2012, and is judged by AGNSW Trustees and senior curatorial staff.
Previous recipients of the award include Jude Rae, Ildiko Kovacs, Daniel Boyd, Jon Cattapan, and Michael Zavros.
2017 Bulgari Art Award
The Art Gallery of New South Wales