nature. insects plants flowers. shells fish corals. the microscopic creatures. dreams
31 Aug 1951 -
An imposing image of the artist’s larger than life-sized face seen at close quarters, Nick Mourtzakis’s drawing impels our entry into a private inner realm. It is a self-portrait in which the artist sought to resolve his sense of physical separateness and identity as an individual, with his knowledge and awareness of our fluid connectedness to all nature at the fundamental level of organic matter. The title conveys this overarching awareness that everything has its
source in nature, which, for Mourtzakis, is a crucial part of his imaginative and emotional inner life.
The richly textured surface of the drawing attests to several concentrated sessions of re-working over a period of five years, revealing the extensive layers of drawing, erasure and re-drawing, characteristic of his approach. His geometric rendering of complex facial forms also reflects Mourtzakis’s longstanding interest in analytical cubism.
This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2006 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2006.
black wax crayon, lithographic crayon, pencil, paper tapes, white gouache, light brown wash, scraping out on paper
68.6 x 54.2 cm image; 80.6 x 59.3 cm sheet; 94.0 x 77.5 x 4.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., black wax crayon "NM", lithographic crayon "206"
Gift of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 2006
Not on display
© Nick Mourtzakis
Dobell Prize for Drawing (discontinued)
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Dobell Prize for Drawing 2006, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 Sep 2006–03 Dec 2006
Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 Years of the Dobell Drawing Prize:
- Grafton Regional Gallery 15 Feb 2013–24 Mar 2013
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 30 Mar 2013–05 May 2013
- Orange Regional Gallery, Orange 05 Jul 2013–18 Aug 2013
- National Art School, Darlinghurst 29 Aug 2013–06 Oct 2013
- Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah 18 Oct 2013–24 Nov 2013
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 11 Apr 2014–18 May 2014
Referenced in 12 publications
Elizabeth Cross, Look, 'Nick Mourtzakis', pg. 18-23, Sydney, Jul 2007, 19 (colour illus.). Photograph of the artist standing in front of 'nature. insects plants flowers. shells fish corals. the microscopic creatures. dreams'.
Elizabeth Fortescue, The Daily Telegraph, ‘Returning to nature’, pg. 92, Sydney, 29 Sep 2006, 92.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'A fine harvest of drawings: legacy of an exceptional draughtsman', pg. 28-31, Sydney, Nov 2011, 30, 31 (colour illus.).
Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 7, 46, 47 (colour illus.), 61.
Steve Meacham, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘What makes a drawing? It’s often a fine line’, pg. 13, Sydney, 25 Dec 2011, 13 (colour illus.).
Clare Morgan, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Artist’s blades cut his style to a winning edge’, pg. 3, Sydney, 25 Sep 2006, 3 (colour illus.). Mourtzakis is pictured standing in front of the work.
Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop., The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Dobell win for Mourtzakis’, Sydney, 28 Sep 2006, (colour illus.). viewed 29.09.2006, http://www.abc.net.au/news/arts/articulate/200609/s1751127.htm
Udo Sellbach (Editor), Imprint, ‘Dobell Prize for Drawing 2006’, Melbourne, Summer 2006, 27 (colour illus.).
The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Mourtzakis wins second Dobell', Sydney, 28 Sep 2006, (colour illus., detail). viewed 29.09.2006, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-09-28/mourtzakis-wins-second-dobell/1273470
Henry Thornton, '2006 Dobell Prize for Drawing', Melbourne, 28 Sep 2012, (colour illus.). viewed 28.09.2006, http://www.henrythornton.com/print-article.asp?article_id=4326
The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Dobell Prize for Drawing’, Sydney, 13 Oct 2006-19 Oct 2006, 23 (colour illus., detail). metro art section
artdaily.org, 'Nick Mourtzakis wins 2006 Dobell Prize for Drawing', Mexico City, 03 Oct 2006, (colour illus.). viewed 04.10.2006, http://www.artdaily.com/section/news/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=17577