Michael Zavros

Michael Zavros (b.1974) is a leading Australian artist. His work has been exhibited in major museums throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.

Michael Zavros graduated from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1996.

In 2016 Zavros was awarded the Mosman Art Prize and in 2012 he won 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.

In 2023 Queensland Art gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) staged a retrospective of Zavros’ work. Both Dunedin Public Art Gallery and City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand will stage solo exhibitions in 24/25. In 2019 Starkwhite presented a two person exhibition with Billy Apple and Zavros at Art Los Angeles and a two person show with Fiona Pardington at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2018. In  2016 Zavros showed a solo exhibition at Art Los Angeles Contemporary and in 2015 a solo at Art Basel Hong Kong. Other shows include Selectively Revealed, an Asialink and Experimenta Media Arts exhibition that toured to Korea, Indonesia and Thailand in 2012, New Nature at Govett Brewster Gallery, New Zealand in 2007 and Uncanny (the unnaturally strange), Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand.

Zavros’s selected Australian group exhibitions include Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2016 at Art Gallery of South Australia, GOMAQ at Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2015, 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, and Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2000.

Solo exhibitions include Z Garden 2021 and A Guy Like Me 2020 with Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney, Magic Mike, 2017 at Newcastle Art Gallery, The Silver Fox 2017 and  Bad Dad 2014 at Starkwhite, Auckland., A Private Collection: Artist Choice, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, The Prince, Rockhampton Art Gallery and Griffith University Art Gallery, The Good Son: Works on Paper, a survey exhibition in 2009 at Gold Coast City Art Gallery and Everything I wanted at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane in 2003/2004.

Zavros has been the recipient of several international residencies including the Australia Council Greene Street Studio, New York, 2014 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 2013 he was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial to paint a portrait of Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith and in 2016 he will paint Dame Quentin Bryce for the National Portrait Gallery. He served on the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts between 2007 and 2011 and currently serves on the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) board.

His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including The National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, University of Queensland Art Museum, Artbank, National Portrait Gallery,  Griffith University Art Collection, Newcastle Region Art Gallery and Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.

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Michael Zavros