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Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Michael Zavros / Unicorn in the anticamera 2008 / Purchased 2009. The Queensland Government's Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
19 JANUARY 2012

An exhibition of lavish interior spaces featuring more than 70 historical and contemporary works selected from the Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum collections by artist Michael Zavros opens at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) from March 23 until June 23, 2013.

QAGOMA Acting Deputy Director of Curatorial and Collection Development Maud Page said Zavros, a prominent mid-career Queensland artist, had selected an eclectic range of furniture, sculpture, painting, taxidermy, photography, ceramics and textiles to create the densely opulent series of spaces comprising the exhibition.

''Artist's Choice: Michael Zavros' is the third in the Xstrata Coal Queensland Artist's Gallery series which invites notable Queensland artists to curate an exhibition from the Collection, and has to date included exhibitions developed by Marian Drew in 2011 and Lawrence Daws in 2009,' Ms Page said.

'Taking his 2008 painting Unicorn in the anticamera as a point of departure, Michael approached the exhibition as though it were the three-dimensional expression of one of his of own finely detailed works,' Ms Page said.

Emulating the elegant homes featured in high-end interior design magazines, the exhibition comprises seven themed interior spaces including figuration, still life, abstraction and the colour white – which includes a Patricia Piccinini sculpture from the Queensland Art Gallery Collection and a full-size taxidermied polar bear on loan from the Queensland Museum.

The still life space includes paintings by Eric Wilson, A.M.E Bale and Arthur Murch, along with furniture by Schulim Krimper and LJ Harvey, Persian floor rugs and contemporary art works by Ai Weiwei and Marc Quinn. The room focused on abstraction includes works by Willem de Kooning, Bridget Riley and English collective Art & Language.

Suspended in the centre of the exhibition is an elaborate 18th century French chandelier which was recently gifted to the QAGOMA Collection.

'Michael wanted to create a new context for these collection works, and offer the objects new life and meaning, by shifting the context from a museum to a domestic space,' Ms Page said.

'The Gallery is pleased to present this latest exhibition as part of the Xstrata Coal Queensland Artists' Gallery program. This partnership enables us to tell stories of Queensland art,' Ms Page said.

In 2012 Michael Zavros was awarded the inaugural Bulgari Art Award, selected by 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 and held the celebrated project exhibition 'Scott Redford vs. Michael Zavros' at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane with Gold Coast artist Scott Redford.

The Gallery gratefully acknowledges loans from the Queensland Museum in this exhibition.

At 3.00pm on Saturday March 23, Michael Zavros will be joined in conversation by Peter McKay, Curator, Contemporary Australian Art, QAGOMA, to discuss the exhibition.

A publication with full-colour installation photographs of the exhibition will be available in late April for purchase from the QAGOMA Store and online at

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