Art Gallery of New South Wales Director Michael Brand today announced highly respected Australian artist Ildiko Kovacs as the recipient of the $80,000 ‘BVLGARI ART AWARD‘ for her painting Onda (2015).
Widely exhibited across Australia for the past three decades, Kovacs is renowned for her grand abstractions that reflect a unique understanding of line, colour and rhythm. Her painting process is underpinned by great energy and movement. With a distinct lyricism, the artist uses rollers to apply paint to large plywood boards, allowing continual movement around her work, adding and removing layers over time. Strongly guided by her emotional responses, Kovacs’s intuition is central to her practice.
Head Curator of Australian Art Wayne Tunnicliffe said he is delighted to welcome this stunning work into the Art Gallery of NSW’s collection and is ever appreciative of Bulgari’s support of contemporary Australian painting.
“I have long admired the gestural brilliance of Ildiko Kovacs and I’m thrilled to finally have an exceptional painting by her in our collection. Onda 2015 exemplifies the artist’s innate understanding of colour and line, and further strengthens the Gallery’s deep holdings of Australian abstract art,” Tunnicliffe said.
Winning artist Ildiko Kovacs said she is thrilled and honoured to accept the Bulgari Art Award.
“I’d like to thank Bulgari for its support of artists and the artistic process. The Bulgari Italian residency will be a wonderful new experience for me.
“When I start to paint I try to enter a space where preconceptions fall away, relying on my intuition to bring the unseen into the seen. My process is reworking the surface many times leaving traces of history which dictates how the painting will evolve,” Kovacs said.
“Onda means wave in Italian. My studio is close to the ocean and the sound of the waves is ever present,” Kovacs added.
Kovacs is the fourth recipient of the annual award which was first launched by Bulgari in 2012 in collaboration with the Art Gallery of NSW. The award consists of a $50,000 painting acquisition for the Art Gallery of NSW and a residency in Italy valued at $30,000. Previous winners include Daniel Boyd (2014), Jon Cattapan (2013) and Michael Zavros (2012).
Ildiko Kovacs, Onda, 2015, oil on plywood, 180 x 365cm