28 September 2006: It was announced at the Art Gallery of New South Wales today that NICK MOURTZAKIS is the winner of the 2006 Dobell Prize for Drawing for his work, nature. insects plants flowers. shell fish corals. the microscopic creatures. dreams.
Nick Mourtzakis was awarded $20,000 for winning Australia’s most respected award for drawing. His work was automatically acquired for the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. This year there were 625 drawings entered, of which 45 are included in the exhibition. Irena Zdanowicz, former Head Curator of Prints & Drawings at the National Gallery of Victoria, now an independent writer/curator, was the judge.
Irena Zdanowicz said: The drawing by Nick Mourtzakis is a work of both great subtlety and great power. The drawing stood out by virtue of its riveting presence and its masterly and, ultimately, mysterious act of balancing the simultaneous revelation and concealment of the subject’s identity. The 625 works submitted covered a wide range of contemporary approaches to drawing, from direct observation to illustration, expressive articulation, abstraction and conceptual work.
This is the second time that Melbourne artist Nick Mourtzakis has won the Dobell Prize. Mourtzakis won in 2000 with his work Untitled study. His drawings and paintings have a long and sustained gestation and are highly refined and reworked; his favoured subjects include portraits, still life and industrial landscapes. His teaching in art schools, studio practice and exhibition of his works has been continuous from 1975 to the present. He currently teaches at RMIT, Melbourne.
The Dobell Prize for Drawing, initiated by the trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, was first awarded in 1993.
Nick Mourtzakis will be the Special Guest at the Giacometti Drawing Forum, Saturday 30 September, along with Mike Parr, Elizabeth Cross, Euan Macleod, Peter Powditch, Ken Unsworth and Terence Maloon.