Nike Savvas

Born Sydney 1964. Lives and works London, UK and Sydney, Australia

Much of Savvas’ work has consisted of large-scale installations that ‘translate’ painting into three dimensions and popular culture into high art. Blurring the boundaries between disciplines, genres and materials she has created her own unique iconography. A major monograph on her work was published by Black Dog, UK in 2012. Selected solo exhibitions include Liberty and Anarchy, Leeds Art Gallery, UK (2012); No Gods No Kings, BREENSPACE, Sydney (2012); Sliding Ladder, BREENSPACE, Sydney (2009); Atomic: Full of Love, Full of Wonder, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2005); and Anthem, Artspace, Sydney (2000). Group exhibitions include There was a world, once, Märkisches Museum, Witten, Germany (2012); New Psychedelia, University of Queensland Museum of Art, Brisbane (2011); Colour Bazaar: Nine Contemporary Works, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2011); To Make a Work of Timeless Art: MCA Primavera Acquisitions, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2008); Paranoia, The Freud Museum, London (2007); Adventures with Form in Space: Sculpture from the Balnaves Foundation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2006); Visual Music: 1905–2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2005); she was also included in New Contemporaries, Camden Arts Centre, London (1998) and Primavera, MCA, Sydney (1998). She has developed a number of significant site-specific public art commissions and is included in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand.

Artist's CV


1996–97  Associate Research Student, Goldsmiths College, University of London
1994        Master of Fine Arts (Honors), College of Fine Arts, UNSW
1990        Grad Dip. in Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, USYD
1988        Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts), Sydney College of the Arts


Liberty and Anarchy, Leeds Art Gallery, UK      
No Gods No Kings, BREENSPACE, Sydney

Sliding Ladder, BREENSPACE, Sydney

SNO 37: Purple and Pearl, SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Sydney

Atomic (Full of Love, Full of Wonder), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
A Million Suns, collaboration with Stephen Little, Artspace, Sydney & RMIT Gallery, Melbourne

A Handful of Air, The Apartment, Athens, Greece
Under A White Sky, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Magic Master, Centenary Gallery, London, UK

Pen & Paper, Tafros Davilla, Nicosia, Cyprus
Bordello Red, Groucho Club, London

Die, Weisse Gallery, Cologne, Germany
Anthem, Artspace, Sydney

Something Sparkly, Site Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany
Glam Genie, site-specific commission, Selfridges Department Store, London, UK
Divisional sampling, site-specific commission, Selfridges Department Store, London, UK
Let It Roll, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Jensen Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

My name is Savvas, Diaspro Art Centre, Nicosia, Cyprus
Nike Savvas – New Work, Wigmore Fine Art, London, UK
Colourful Language, Galerie Y-Burg, Vrieshuis Amerika, Amsterdam
Nike Savvas – New Work, Luxus Gallery, Den Haag, Amsterdam
Untitled 1998 (Sparkly), Solo x9 : Artists in Clerkenwell, Berry House, London, UK (Wigmore Fine Art/EC Art initiative)
Ten Blue Bubbles, CBD Gallery, Sydney

Blue Division, Goldsmiths College, London, UK

Simple Division, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
Onement One, CBD Gallery, Sydney
Fuzzy Logic, collaboration with Stephen Little, Artspace, Sydney
Bridget and Georges, Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery, Sydney

nice bubbles II, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns, QLD
Head Boy, CBD Gallery, Sydney
Untitled 1994, College of Fine Arts, Sydney

Round, CBD Gallery, Sydney
nice bubbles, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne

Untitled 1992, 24Hr Art, Darwin, NT
Communique, Canberra Contemporary Artspace, Canberra

Communique, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD

Ichthyoid, collaboration with Nicole Mather, Performance Space, Sydney

Alternative Endings, First Draft West, Sydney

Volume One: MCA Collection, Museum Of Contemporary Art, Sydney
The Drawing Room, Breenspace Sydney
There was a world, once, Märkisches Museum, Witten, Germany
The Baker’s Dozen, UTS Gallery Sydney
Square One, Wollongong City Gallery
Inspiring Artists: Recipients of the Pat Corrigan Artist Grant, Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Colour Bazaar: Nine Contemporary Works, Heide Museum of Modern Art
New Psychedelia, University of Queensland Museum of Art, Brisbane

Bar Woteva, GALERIE LISI HÄMMERLE, Bregenz, Austria
The Garden That You Planted, collaboration with Rowena Dring, Vital Arts Gallery Space, London, UK
Group show, BREENSPACE, Sydney

To make a work of timeless art: MCA Primavera Acquisitions, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Big other’s little other, EAP, Nicosia, Cyprus
Rolling Frame Arcade, EAP, Nicosia, Cyprus
Australian, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney

Salon 2007: New British Painting and Works on Paper, Artwork Productions, London, UK
Summer Daze, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland
Paranoia, Freud Museum, London
15 Years of Urban Art Projects, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
Dream Idea Machine Off, Mommy Art Projects, Athens, Greece

Balnaves: Adventures with Form in Space, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Wild Gift, Ada Street Gallery, London, UK
Paranoia, Leeds City Gallery, UK
I am Australian Too, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney
Architectural Transparencies, Iliana Dounta Contemporary Art Centre, Athens, Greece

Visual Music, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
11th Triennale of India, Dehli, India
Accidental Meetings, Nicosia Municipal Art Centre, Nicosia, Cyprus

There and Back Again (two person show) Program Gallery, London, UK
Cabaret S1/Salon S1, Artspace, Sheffield,
The Shining, Aschenbach + Hofland,Amsterdam
Tonight, Studio Voltaire, London, UK
Whatever Happened To Minimalism, SCA Gallery, Sydney
Summer Breeze, The Apartment, Athens, Greece
The Samstag Effect, University of South Australia Museum, touring exhibition Shangrilla; IMA, Brisbane; Bathurst Regional Gallery, Bathurst; Kingdom Market, Glasgow

East International, Norwich Gallery, Norwich, UK
Images of Desire 3, The Fields Gallery, Winston Art Hotel, Amsterdam
15/1(2) 1000000 miles per hour, London

Red Light District - Images of Desire 2, The Fields Gallery, Winston Art Hotel, Amsterdam
A Silver Lining and A New Beginning, Ivan Dougherty Gallery Sydney

Six, Australia House, London, UK

Out of the Ordinary, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, NZ
Allstars, RoslynOxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Not Quite Right, Grey Matter Gallery, Sydney

Accessory, Gallery 4A, Sydney
Claire Joy, Nike Savvas, Clare Stent, Alex Fontoura, Cubitt Gallery, London, UK
Basel Art Fair 1999, Switzerland
The organic and the artificial: reinventing modernist design, Plimsol Gallery, Hobart, TAS, touring exhibition, University Gallery Launceston, TAS; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, WA; Flinders Museum of Art Gallery, Adelaide, SA; Riddoch Art Gallery, SA; Burra Art Gallery, SA; Port Pirrie Art Gallery, SA; Craft Queensland, Brisbane; Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW
CfCC, Object Galleries, Sydney
John Armleder, Nike Savvas, Jim Speers, Jensen Gallery, Auckland
Velocity, Newspace, Sydney
Newspace Fundraiser, Newspace, Sydney

2013  Everlasting, The Quays, Melbourne Docklands
2011  Sunstar, Westin Hotel, New Delhi
2011  Something of Ages, 39 Hunter Street, Sydney
2010  Transfer Abstracts, Westin Hotel, New Delhi, India
2005  Cascade, Deutsche Bank, Sydney
         Transcendental, Deutsche Bank Sydney
         All the Worlds Pass Me By, Roller Mills Auckland, NZ
         Atomic: Full of Love Full of Wonder, ACCA, Melbourne
2003  Anthem (The Carny), East International, Norwich, UK
2000  Scintillation, Woden Plaza Canberra, ACT
1998  Archive, Federal Archive, Canberra, ACT
1999  Glam Genie, Selfridges, London, UK
         Divisional Sampling, Selfridges, London, UK

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Australia
Cyprus Ministry of Culture Collection, Greece
Deutsche Bank, Sydney
The British Library, UK
Tate Gallery Library, UK
Artist Multiples Collection, Chelsea College of Art and Design, UK
The Royal College of Art Print Archive, UK
Victoria & Albert Museum, UK
Griffith University, Brisbane
Federal Archive, Canberra
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Australia
Artbank, Australia


2010  Fellowship, Australia Council for the Arts
         ACT Creative Arts Fellowship
2006  New Work Grant, Australia Council for the Arts
2005  Jury Prize (Gold Medal), 11th Triennale of India, Delhi, India
2003  Primavera Acquisitive Art Award, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
         New Development Grant, Australia Council for the Arts
2001  New Development Grant, Australia Council for the Arts
1998  New Development Grant, Australia Council for the Arts
1996  The Anne and Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
         Pat Corrigan Artist Grant, National Association for the Visual Arts, Sydney
1994  Pat Corrigan Artist Grant, National Association for the Visual Arts, Sydney

2005  Artspace Studio Residency, Sydney, Australia
1997  Artist-in-Residence, ARTROOMS Barcelona
1996  Artspace Studio Residency, Sydney, Australia


San Francisco Book Review
David Lillington, 'Nike Savvas: Liberty and Anarchy', Leeds Art Gallery Leeds, Corridor, 8, UK 14 April

Rachel Kent, Patricia Ellis, Stephen Little, 'Full of Love Full of Wonder', monograph, Black Dog Publishing, UK
Glenn Barkley, VOLUME ONE: MCA COLLECTION, Museum Of Contemporary Art Sydney
Sebastian Moody, 'Psychedelia now', Art and Australia, Winter
Charles Darwent, 'Critics Choice', The Independent, UK, 16 December
Pick of the Week, The Guardian, UK, 15 December
Exhibitionist, The Guardian, 6 December
David Lillington, 'Nike Savvas at Leeds', Eyecontact, NZ, 18 March
Nick Ahad, 'Art as An Optical Illusion', Leeds, Yorkshire Post, 7 December
Aaron Row, 'Full of Love Full of Wonder: Nike Savvas', Art, Architecture and Photography, San Franciso / Sacramento Book Review
Tracey Clement, ‘Nike Savvas: No Gods, No Kings’ review, Art Guide, March 
Anna Madelaine, ‘Nike Savvas: No Gods, No Kings’ review & e-newsletter, Art Almanac, March
Melbourne Art Foundation, Art Advisor, March 2012
It's Nice That, art and design blog
'Nike Savvas', Dazed Digital, Arts and Culture
Paul Flynn, ‘Nike Savvas: The Sliding Ladder Equation’, Artist Profile, no. 10, February 2010, cover + pp. 42–49
John-Paul Hussey, ‘A Victory for Nike’, Neos Kosmos, Greece, 17 August 2010
Andrew Frost, ‘To Infinity and Beyond’, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May
Andrew Taylor, ‘Outside the Cube’, The Sun-Herald, 2 May
‘What Now’, Australian Art Collector, issue 52, April – June
Jane O’Sullivan, ‘Artist Interview: Nike Savvas’, Australian Art Collector, 18 May
Shivangi Ambani-Gandhi, ‘It’s Indian landscapes for this Aussie artist’, Indian Link, vol. 17, no. 9, June 2010, p. 30

Sebastian Moody, 'Total Reality: The influence of psychedelia in contemporary Australian art', New Psychedelia, exhibition catalogue, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane

Daniel Palmer, ‘Looking Back: Best Theme Shows 2006’, Frieze, Jan–Feb 2007, p. 132
Andrew Graham-Dixon, ‘Carefully Deranged’, Seven Magazine, Sunday Telegraph, 21 January 2007, p. 24
Peter Conrad, ‘Paranoid? This lot really ought to be’, The Observer, 28 January 2007, p. 18

Dougal Phillips, ‘Adventures with form in space: Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project, 2006’, Art & Australia, vol. 44, no. 2, Summer
Jacqueline Millner, ‘Adventures with form in space: The Fourth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project’, Eyeline Contemporary Visual Arts, no. 62
Sebastian Smee, ‘Dot complimentary’, The Australian, 9 September
‘The World in Pixels’, HELLO Magazine, 29 August
‘Atomic: Full of love, full of wonder’, Daily Times, Pakistan, 19 August
Tracey Clement, ‘Adventures with Form and Space’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August
‘Atomic: Full of love, full of wonder’, The Seattle Times, 4 August
Sunanda Creagh, ‘Life is full of wonder … but balls are essential’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August
John McDonald, ‘Lights, action, entertainment’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September
Simon Ferguson, ‘Non-elitist art means everyone can have a ball’, The Daily Telegraph, 4 August
Rosalie Higson, ‘Homesick artist makes her point many times’, The Australian, 4 August
‘Atomic: Full of love, full of wonder’, Yahoo! News, 4 August
‘Bright Spots’, Metro UK, 4 August
'Art that shimmers like the outback’, The Independent UK, 4 August
‘The day in pics: August 3’, The Times of India, 3 August
‘Week in pictures: 29 July – 4 August’, BBC News, UK
‘Image of the day’, The Times, UK, 4 April
‘Atomic: full of love full of wonder’, The Guardian, 4 April
Natasha Adamou, ‘Transparency and Awkwardness’, The Athens Contemporary Review, no. 3, April
Daniel Palmer, ‘Looking Back: Best Solo Shows 2005’, Frieze Magazine, no. 96 January–February 2006
Alfred Hickling, ‘PARANOIA’, The Guardian, 5 July
Paranoia Predrag Pajdjc, Paranoia Publishing, London

Rachel Jessie-Rae O’Connor, ‘Nike Savvas and Wolfgang Laib at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne’, Art Monthly Australia, no. 183, September
‘Nike Savvas Jarrod Rawlins’, Flash Art Magazine, no. 244, October
Christopher Knight, ‘What Colour is Music?’, review, LA Times, 22 February
Ari Wiseman, ‘Expanding the Synaesthetic Paradigm’ in Visual Music Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900, Thames and Hudson, New York
Andrew Wessels, ‘Pollock rates second to Visual’, Daily Trojan, 25 March
Polly Lyssiotis, ‘Triennale of India 2005’, Cyprus Today, Vol XLII, No.1 January–March
Juliana Engberg, Atomic: full of love, full of wonder, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Jo Roberts, ‘On the Ball with Global Art’, The Age, 27 May
Megan Backhouse, ‘The balls in her court’, The Age, 18 September
Neos Kosmos, ‘Installation artist returns’, Melbourne, 3 May
Ben Swinnerton, ‘Artist has balls and isn’t scared to turn up the heat’, mX News, 25 May
Harbant Gill, ‘Great Balls of Desire’, Herald Sun, Melbourne, 27 May
Tina Bambali, ‘Cyprus participation in the 11th Biennale’, Phileleftheros, 26 January
Daniel Thomas, ‘Meet the Samstags’, Art and Australia, vol. 42, no. 4

Wendy Walker, ‘Artists’ new works a fitting finale’, The Advertiser, 30 November
Peter Hill, ‘The glittering prize’,The Sydney Morning Herald, 13–14 November
Ben Curnow, ‘Nike Savvas’, Kindle and Swag: The Samstag Effect, University of South Australia Art Museum
Ross Wolfe, catalogue, Kindle and Swag: The Samstag Effect, University of South Australia Art Museum
Vincent Ciccarello, ‘A Fragile Sway of Glass Swans’, The Independent Weekly, 31 October–6 November
‘Salon for Short Films’, Sheffield Telegraph, 6 February

Stathis Panagoulis & George Vamvakidis, ‘Interview with Nike Savvas’, Time Out Athens, September
Stathis Panagoulis, ‘A Handful of Air’, Time Out Athens, September
Yorgos Karouzakis, ‘Nike Savvas’, Ozone, Issue 19, October
Despina Zefkili, ‘A Handful of Air: Nike Savvas at the Apartment’, Athinorama, 23–30 October
Sotiris Kyriacou, ‘East International’, Contemporary magazine, no. 56
Sally O’Reilly, ‘15/1’, Art Monthly UK, September, no. 269, p. 32
Dan Smith, ‘EAST International’, Art Monthly UK, September, no. 269, pp. 29–30
Anne Loxley, ‘Awakening to death in the weighty intrigue of sleep’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October

Serap Destegul, ‘In The Line of Fire’, Letters, ArtReview UK, November, vol. LIII, p. 8
Meredith Etherington-Smith, ‘Editor’s Letter’, ArtReview UK, December–January, Vol. LII, p. 4

Glyn Hughes, ‘Balloons Go Up For Art Downunder’, The Cyprus Weekly, p. 19–25
Tobika Yeyonota, ‘Postponement of Event’, Phileleftheros Newspaper, Cyprus, 19 October
‘Balloons With Messages to Turkish Cypriots’, Aurupa Newspaper, Cyprus, 17 October
‘Balloons for Peace’, Simerini Newspaper, Cyprus, 16 October
‘Event for Peace’, Maraughi Newspaper, Cyprus, 16 October
‘Balloons With Messages to Turkish Cypriots’, Mahi Newspaper, Cyprus, 16 October
Tobika Yeyonota, ‘Messages of peace with thousands of balloons’, Phileleftheros Newspaper, Cyprus, 16 October
Sascha Jones, ‘Nike Savvas: Anthem’, Eyeline, no. 44, Summer 2000–2001
‘Different Strokes’, TNT, London, no. 912, 19 February, p24

Louisa Buck, Moving Targets 2: A User’s Guide To British Art Now, Tate Publishing, London, pp. 211–12
Courtney Kidd, ‘Flesh for a braveheart’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 September
Scott Hannaford, 'Sculpture enlivens Palm Court ceiling’, Canberra Times, 9 February
Karina Smith, ‘Scintillation’, The Chronicle, 15 February

Stephen O’Connell, ‘Nike Savvas: let it roll’, LIKE Art Magazine, no. 10, Summer
Louisa Buck, ‘Art to refresh tired shoppers’, The Art Newspaper, no. 92, May, London
Andrew Frost, ‘Real Abstract’, Monument Magazine, no. 31, August–September
Anastasios M.Tamis & Demetrios Tsolakis, 'The History of Greeks of Canberra and Districts', La Trobe University, Melbourne
Bruce James, ‘Let it Roll’, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June
Georgina Safe, ‘Sparks fly when two arts beat as one’, The Australian, 3 May, p. 5
Sebastian Smee, ‘This Goes With That’, The Galleries, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June, p. 11
Andrew Frost, ‘Australia’s 50 Most Collectable Artists’, Australian Art Collector, no. 7, January–March