"Speak: Nine Cartoonists" January 20 - February 25, 2006 Opening reception: 6-8 p.m., January 19, 2006

Pratt Manhattan Gallery 144 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011 Gallery hours: Tuesday - Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

NEW YORK, N.Y., December 20, 2005 - Pratt Manhattan Gallery will present an exhibition that celebrates the current golden age of North American comics titled "Speak: Nine Cartoonists" from January 20 through February 25. The exhibition and opening are free and open to the public.

The diverse group of comic book artists represented will include Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Jaime Hernandez, Gary Panter, Seth, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware. The exhibition will feature preliminary doodles and sketchbooks; finished artwork for major sustained sequences; complete stories; covers; and printed comic books.

Todd Hignite, guest curator for "Speak: Nine Cartoonists" and founding editor of Comic Art magazine, says that the exhibition attempts to illuminate how the art of comics is "deceptively located in interweaving visual and textual fragments" and how this "system of slowly registering emotional meaning is the language's unique voice."

"In their balance and collisions of form and content, comic books are mazes, ambiguous labyrinths of slowly accreting meaning, oddly and disjointedly resonating through minor, frequently non-linear bursts and partially remembered, often falsely occluding, past details," according to Hignite. "The artists in this exhibition represent the ultimate realization of comics' endlessly puzzling nature, the full flowering of its poetic core."

There will be two events held in conjunction with the exhibition in Room 213, adjacent to the gallery. Pratt Manhattan Gallery's "In Conversation" series will continue with an informal talk led by the curator from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, January 21 with artists Jaime Hernandez and Seth. An illustrated presentation by artist Gary Panter will take place from 2-4 p.m. on February 18.

About Pratt Manhattan Gallery: Pratt Manhattan Gallery is a public art gallery affiliated with Pratt Institute. The goals of the gallery are to present significant innovative and intellectually challenging work in the fields of art, architecture, fashion, and design from around the world and to provide a range of educational initiatives to help viewers relate contemporary art to their lives in a meaningful way.

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute (www.pratt.edu) is the largest independent college of art and design in the United States, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the schools of architecture, art and design, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. Pratt is located on 25 landscaped acres in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn and has a Manhattan campus in a large, newly renovated building on West 14th Street.