An homage to Frank Portelli: ‘Frank U Jien’ project continues with performances and studio tours

Frank u Jien (Frank and I) unfolds as a multifaceted curatorial endeavor led by Andrew Borg Wirth, with narratives by Maria Theuma and developed in collaboration with the Portelli family. This project aims to honor the innovative and boundary-pushing contributions of the celebrated Maltese modern artist, Frank Portelli.

By engaging with Portelli’s extensive archives, this project invites Malta’s vibrant contemporary artists across performing and visual arts to engage audiences with the rich tapestry of Portelli’s life, his artistic milestones, and pivotal moments in the history of Maltese art.

Educated in London and returning to Malta in the 1950s, Portelli was instrumental in founding the Malta Modern Art Circle. ‘Frank u Jien’ delves into the intricate personal, professional, and creative facets of Portelli’s life, offering attendees a nuanced perspective of his era and artistic endeavors, particularly his signature ‘Crystallised Cubism’ and ‘Contours’ styles.

With most events happening in Portelli’s original studio in Attard, which has been recently restored by Valentino Architects and acclaimed at the 2022 World Architecture Festival, the project is a testament to Portelli’s lasting influence. Supported by the Arts Council Malta and Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, ‘Frank u Jien’ is the culmination of extensive research and development.

The opening night on February 15th featured a panel discussion led by Francesca Balzan. On February 20th, a Public Lecture at Casino Maltese in Valletta, accompanied by an exhibition tour of ‘In Search of Line’ by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti. February 22nd offers an Archive Tour at Portelli’s studio. While the first set of performances have already happened, additional performances are scheduled from February 23rd to 25th. Tickets for performances are available at Showshappening, with details for the Public Lecture and Archive Tour to be announced.

This project receives support from Arts Council Malta, Farsons Foundation, Bathroom Design, Exalco, P. Cutajar & Co. Ltd, Corinthia Foundation, Fenech & Fenech Advocates, Print Options, and partners with Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti.

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