As part of Michael Waugh’s current project, the artist has created a series of micrographic images (images made out of delicate lines of handwritten text) using the entirety of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. All of the works in this series center around the sport of rowing, referencing issues of class privilege and competition. The first ten drawings in this series are portraits of Ivy League rowers. Proud and unquestioning, those portraits comprise the introductory chapters of Smith’s text.
For Schroeder Romero Editions, Waugh has created The Honour of a State (The Wealth of Nations, part Ω), also a portrait — but one with a changeable, mournful expression. The text here, the final passage of Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, concerns public debt and the potential of a nation going bankrupt. This edition is a silkscreen on mylar, in an edition of 99.
Waugh has exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the permanent collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. He has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Award, a Joan Mitchell Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts, and a residency at Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions at Rutgers University. Waugh has had three solo exhibitions with Schroeder Romero.