JUMPER, 2003

Important Australian + International Fine Art
24 April 2013


born 1974
JUMPER, 2003

oil on canvas

140.5 x 140.5 cm

signed with initials and dated lower right: MZ 03

$25,000 - 35,000
Sold for $26,400 (inc. BP) in Auction 29 - 24 April 2013, Melbourne

Art Galleries Schubert, Queensland (label attached verso)
Mossgreen Auctions, Melbourne, 13 November 2007, lot 53
Company collection, Melbourne

Catalogue text

Mesmerized by horses, during his youth Michael Zavros worked weekends at the Gold Coast Turf Club, competing in equestrian sports and riding for Australia in New Zealand when aged 15. Attracted to the obsessive fastidiousness of the sport, dressage and show jumping conformed to Zavros's particular ideas of beauty which border on narcissism. Executed in exquisite detail, Jumper shows us the creature from fetlock to the edge of the rider's shin; horse flesh and leather taut. Like so much of Zavros's practice, Jumper is an exercise in technical virtuosity: artifice, artistry and difficulty all present in equal measures.

Of his paintings Jason Smith comments, 'Zavros's works tackle the vexed nature of marketing and the inevitability of mortality. They examine aesthetics and artifice, and play with scale to counterpoint or exaggerate grandeur. His labour intensive painting pays homage to the extraordinary artistic achievements and cultural enterprises that are the subject matter of his work. And echoes of memento mori remind us that the essence of human beings cannot be measured by their possessions or their physical attributes.'1

Highly collectible for some years now, Louise Martin-Chew suggested that Zavros's work 'offers up much of what comprises the Zeitgeist for art now - an interest in transience, death and morbidity, a shiny allure, dalliance with photo media, a seductive realism at odds with its fiction.'Appealing to collectors of contemporary art and museum curators alike, in 2012 Zavros received the inaugural Bulgari Art Award at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for his work The new Round Room. He has been a finalist five times in the Archibald Prize, including this year, and in 2010 won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

1. Smith, J., Michael Zavros: Calling in the Fox, Grantpirrie, Sydney, 2009, unpaginated
2. Martin-Chew, L., 'Slow Art: Recent fictions by Michael Zavros', Art Monthly Australia, Issue#233, September 2010, p. 30