For the 2006 NDA Manifest received over 350 works from 121 artists in 27 states and six countries. The publication includes 68 works by 33 artists from 16 states and four countries, including England, Russia, Scotland, and the U.S.
This second edition of the publication marks a key event for Manifest and the NDA. If two points make a line, and a line possesses a trajectory, then with the NDA in its second year we now have a clear idea of where the project is headed long term. With a significant increase in the number of entries, artists selected, and works included, the NDA is proving quite successful. Furthermore, the quality of work continues to meet the very high standards of our jury, which involves a multi-part and intense process supported by professional and academic advisors.
This supplemental resource offers biographical information and artist's
statements for each of the 33 artists included in the exhibition-in-print.
As is often the case in Manifest projects, a theme inevitably arises out of the collection of works chosen by our jury. Interestingly, this year’s Annual contains a great deal more abstraction than the 2005 volume and I do not believe this is reflective of the personal tastes of our jurors, but rather a coincidence related to the nature of the artists’ mindset.
A prevalent undercurrent in this collection of drawings is the suggestion of systems and organic processes through which things are changed or in the process of changing. This underlying theme permeating the project is expressed primarily in the abstract works, but even the representational images echo the idea. We view this, at least initially, as being indicative of the foremost thinking of contemporary artists as they approach drawing as an art form, but also as a conceptual trend in creative work being made today in all media.
The works of prize winners Karol Shortt, Michael Nichols, and Jennifer Jenkins represent this trend perfectly. Shortt’s huge charcoal drawing graces the ‘great hall’ of a nuclear power plant, not so subtly representing or memorializing the shift from antiquated fuel supplies (charcoal) to futuristic, if no less volatile, processes. The swarming spheroid forms in Shortt’s composition Fission II can be found echoed, eerily (because these two artists do not know each other), in Jenkins’s machine embroidered Arranging and Aftermath. Even the titles of these two works underscore the process/transformative theme of the 2006 NDA. Michael Nichols’s drawings, although at first apparently quite straight forward, actually reveal double-images of his subjects. It is as if the artist is drawing what he sees perfectly (rather than a frozen memory of a single moment), and because the subject is alive he must draw it in constant motion. His application of the media suggests process nicely, but it is the subtle multiple images which provides the key Einsteinian weirdness that merrily haunts this entire collection of drawings.
This volume also includes an essay by PhD candidate and 2005 NDA participant Deborah Harty. In her text Harty contributes momentum to the unifying theme found in the visual works by discussing the role of process as it relates to communication, creation, and perception.
With this I am delighted to introduce the 2006 National Drawing Annual containing 68 exceptional works of drawing from around the world!
Executive Director, Manifest