Bulgari Art Award Dinner, Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales director, Dr Michael Brand this evening announced that one of Australia ‘s finest colour painters, Tomislav Nikolic, is the recipient of this year’s $80,000 BVLGARI ART AWARD for his painting 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) 2014 – 2017.

The Bulgari Art Award is awarded annually to support mid-career Australian painters.

Sponsored by Bulgari, the award consists of $50,000 for the acquisition of a painting for the Gallery’s collection and a residency for the artist in Rome, Italy valued at $30,000.

The Bulgari Art Award, now in its sixth year, is one of the most valuable and prestigious art awards in Australia.

“We see the Bulgari Art Award as both a celebration of, and support for, Australia’s visual artists and a unique opportunity for Bulgari to assist to strengthen the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s permanent collection,” managing director of Bulgari Australia, Brad Harvey said.

“Tomislav Nikolic’s work is an extraordinary example of his signature form of abstraction and we are delighted to announce him as the 2017 recipient of the Bulgari Art Award,” Harvey added.

Michael Brand said Tomislav Nikolic is one of Australia’s greatest colour painters and his painting for the 2017 Bulgari Art Award is a sublime example of how experiential the painting medium can be.

“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,” Brand said.

Judged by AGNSW Trustees and senior curatorial staff, AGNSW head curator of Australian Art, Wayne Tunnicliffe, said Tomislav’s winning work was completed over a four-year period.

“Nikolic’s practice is research based and the chromatic origin point for his painting was Caravaggio’s Judith beheading Holofernes, which was also painted over four years, from 1599-1602.

The pigeon blood red at the centre of Nikolic’s canvas has a source in the red curtain and the red spurt of Holofernes’ blood that anchors Caravaggio’s composition.

Nikolic has moved far from the Caravaggio though to arrive at his abstract painting, while retaining a sense of drama anchored purely in intense colour rather than in subject and composition” added Tunnicliffe.

Source: Bulgari