Nusra Latif Qureshi wins 2019 Bulgari Art Award

Melbourne-based artist takes out the $80,000 art prize.

Words: Lauren Da Silva

The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) has announced the recipient of the 2019 Bulgari Art Award: Nusra Latif Qureshi.

One of the most prestigious and most valuable art prizes in Australia, the Bulgari annually supports mid-career Australian painters. Qureshi will receive $80,000 both for the acquisition of her work, valued at $50,000, and a residency based in Rome, Italy, valued at $30,000.

This occasion is the first time that the award will be granted for a body of work, rather than a single painting. Qureshi is the seventh recipient of the award, following other artists from previous years including Tomislav Nikolic, Jude Rae, Ildiko Kovacs, Daniel Boyd, Jon Cattapan and Michael Zavros.

The first of Qureshi’s work acquired by AGNSW, her six winning paintings span the time she has lived and worked in Australia. The works illustrate a collision between historical and contemporary references, incorporating rich and daring palettes with evocations of South-Asian miniature paintings and the 16th century painting style of Persian Mughal courts.

Qureshi’s paintings are often autobiographical and feature female protagonists which transcend time and place, embodying experience across cultures and historical periods. Pakistani-born and Melbourne-based, Qureshi migrated to Australia in 2001 and her experiences re-negotiating her identity in this new society have greatly informed her practice. She has exhibited in Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and the United States.

Qureshi is elated with this most recent acquisition: “I would like to thank Bulgari for the award that not only allows my work to be part of the AGNSW collection but also provides an incredible opportunity to visit Italy. As my practice draws heavily on art historical references, I am looking forward to studying significant artworks in Italian museums.”

Image: Nusra Latif Qureshi, ‘Descriptions from the past II’, 2001. Gouache and gold leaf on wasli. Courtesy: the artist and The Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.

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