A whole new year , with all new art exhibitions. Find out what local Artists, Galleries, Museums and organisations have been working on and discover what have they got in store for you over the coming weeks and months. We’ve put together a list of ongoing as well upcoming exhibitions set to open later in January and February, which you should definitely pay a visit to. Check them out below!
Giorgio Preca (1909-1984) ta’ Malta
Giorgio Preca (1909-1984) was an outstanding Maltese artist who spent a good part of his life in Rome and attracted attention from international entities. Throughout his career he was ready to take risks and present his individual artistic language even if the public in Malta was many a time not ready for such innovation.
While living in Malta, his contemporaries looked up to him as a leading figure who pushed forward a new Modernist spirit. The drive for modernism persisted during his sojourn in Italy, as confirmed by the long list of solo and collective exhibitions he took part in, and the ensuing international reviews. He engaged with the Roman artistic scene, both as a foreigner living there as well as an international artist.
This exhibition shall present works from the family’s collection which were exhibited internationally. These include works selected for the 29th Edition of Venice Biennale of 1958, works from ‘The inhabitants of the moon’ series which were exhibited twice in Rome in 1952 and at the Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery London in 1966; together with a set of still lifes and abstract paintings which were exhibited both in Rome and London.
Kindly note that this exhibition includes an immersive experience with light projections.
Running until 31st January at The Phoenicia Malta
Why is it that Kenneth Zammit Tabona’s pictures are nearly always ‘stimulating’? (I think I have found the right adjective!). The answer is perhaps because he reminds us, in his own way, of things we like, things we should admire. He does it colourfully and with conviction: there is nostalgia involved without ever being boring, and there is undoubtedly more than a little sophistication which is brought to mind and can be recognised without much difficulty by so many of us. He reminds us of where we should be looking and what we should focus on and remember, and he does this with skill.
A snobbish Sliema tea party where the over-dressed ladies are gossiping in competitively posh surroundings, and where the maid adorned in Maltese lace is wearing flip-flops, was easily enough to make me pine when I lived abroad and saw the picture.
When our artist adapted himself to a commission to paint the five joyful mysteries of the Rosary the results were delightfully landscaped and the Christmas scene remains memorable. He was not copying anybody; the settings were essentially Kenneth Zammit Tabona creations.
His more recent ‘fuori-dentros’ with their views of interiors dressed with porcelain and a variety of objets d’art, and exteriors with nostalgic landscapes including little chapels, lace-embellished festas and celestial moods have confirmed the fact that our artist is no dilettante but an established professional worthy of repute and sure to survive and be competed for in collections down future generations.
Nicholas de Piro.
Portals by Mareo Rodriguez
The cracks are not, only, of earthly domain, also in the immensity of the sea they appear in the form of infinite abysses, and demonstrate -as in romanticism-, the impotence of the human being in the face of the immensity of nature. And it is these places, to which the human being has never arrived, those that appear as metaphors of our unconscious, that unexplored space of the mind that has cracks, or rather, fractures that are forming the personality of the individual and that appear in the most complex moments of life, as defense mechanisms or as an invitation to madness, how much do we know about our internal world? How much of what surrounds us?
Through The Eyes of A Friend
In his own words, Frank Kirchner accidentally met the Maltese carnival in February 2016, during the last day of dismantling decorations of the feast of St Paul in Valletta.
‘I noticed the red audience seats at St George’s Square!’His photographic skills are a fusion between candid, lifestyle and street photography. Rather than posed shots, he captures shots of people in motion, spontaneously and by surprise. As seen in this photographic collection, Frank posses a good eye for authentic scenes from everyday life, reactions and facial expressions. Carnival in Malta is a most popular mass event and the preparations for the grandious and festive days start from several months in advance. For carnival enthusiasts and their families, Carnival tends to become part of their lifestyle – they literally live for carnival. These characteristics are perfectly captured and exposed in Frank’s photography.
Although he sticks to the classical principles of a balanced composition, he has the intuition to capture decisive moments. Through his dynamic composition, he makes room for his own interpretation. As seen in the collection, he developed the motifs into a series of related or unrelated photographs, linked in a particular narrative.
Passion, commitment, Mediterranean characteristics, community development and social impact factors are immortalised in the chosen set of artworks from hundreds of clicks. Frank is presenting his extraordinary skills in pointing the lens towards subjects of interest, abstract reflections of real life during carnival days, creating a subjective documentary through ‘life’ photography.
Such Stuff as Worlds are Made On
Reflecting on human time-scales, alongside the deep time of the universe, this project explores possible inclusive futures via world-building and speculative art practices, while consciously avoiding the replication of colonial models. Ultimately, the project questions what kinds of new worlds can be created and what kind of rules these worlds will have to follow.
Informed by Donna Haraway’s Speculative Fabulations this exhibition looks towards cosmologies and ecosystems for inspirations, answers, and prophecies. Exploring practices that are speculative rather than empirically scientific, it reflects on the limits of human knowledge of our own planet, alongside humankind’s increasing desire to extend itself to neighbouring planets and planetary systems
In very recent years on the human time-scale, we have witnessed multiple moon landings, frequent image flow from Mars and the neo-colonial ambitions of a small number of billionaires. This project shifts the perspective towards non-privileged humans, nonhumans, biomes and Martian life forms in order to reflect on space colonisation and planetary time.
Looking back through millennia, the project imagines the births and deaths of planets, the creation of the cosmos, the universe, and our home the earth. Looking forward, the project speculates on how other worlds are being explored or created, and questions if space really is humankind’s final frontier.
New and existing works – and the interaction between them – seek a deeper understanding of the origins of humankind in cosmological, geological and evolutionary terms that can serve to develop long-term evolutionary perspectives. Is humankind struggling in its capacity to face up to the existential crises it is facing? What can we learn from other life forms that have lived through similar extinction-threatening events? And will future generations be born into a habitable, sustainable world?
MELI-TENSION – by Ramon Azzopardi Fiott
Running till 27th February at MUŻA
MeliTENSION consists of 10 pop-surreal digital paintings by Ramon Azzopardi Fiott accompanied by performance: “The Patriot Act II”, a collaboration with
burlesque star Undine LeVerve. The paintings depict fantastical creatures inspired by icons of Maltese identity, set against local backdrops. Each telling a different story, the collection is diverse yet cohesive. They are strange, colourful and whimsical, much like the artist. The works capture a sense of nostalgia and a
curiosity for what could be, within the themes of social identity and heritage loss.
The Patriot Act II is a revisited piece inspired by LeVerve’s original, after which it’s named. The performer embodies Melita, the spirit of the island in a tongue in cheek burlesque routine that addresses the country’s aesthetic decline with the rise of concrete towers.
All together this exhibition is an invitation for the viewers to reconnect with their inner daydreamer and see the rock through a, perhaps, different lens. The show presents a holistic fantasy of a dreamlike Malta where the monsters are a little less
Xulliela is the Maltese word that describes that one side of the stone which is left ‘unworked’ and raw, as this will be the side facing the inner part of the wall.
The title resonates with Farrugia’s works, as 80% of his works are executed from recycled stones – stones where he envisions something captured in them. He considers old stones to be the best as being the whitest and the hardest. And further to this, the colour white, ‘bajda’ is referring to his experimentation in achieving and preserving the whiteness and true colour of the stone.
In this exhibition, Farrugia is exploring a new technique in applying patina onto his forms. Following years of experimentation, and the application of tempera colour on stone, finally he managed to find a way to achieve and keep the pristine natural stone colour on his sculptures without any deterioration when applying wax and polish.
The Ordinary Lives of Women
The rhetoric around feminism often focuses on the achievement of individual women, justifying equality with men through the accomplishments of a small number of talented women.
This celebration of individual breakthroughs leaves little space in which to acknowledge the value of women going about their daily lives. Women make up half of the world’s population; their struggles are the world’s struggles. The Ordinary Lives of Women is a recognition of the value of everyday women, and women’s contribution to humanity. It acknowledges the trillions of woman-hours that are spent daily around the world in undervalued tasks of cleaning, caring and maintenance. The exhibition also recognises that ‘ordinary’ women have been pushed to extraordinary acts when their rights and lives – and those of their societies – have come under threat. When circumstances dictate, women emerge from their traditional domestic roles to adopt a revolutionary stance.
Anna Dumitriu & Alex May
Kornelia Remø Klokk
Rakel Vella & Jamie Barbara, Emanuel Polidano, Jacob Saliba
IN DIALOGUE by Victor Agius
29th January till 8th March at Il-Ħaġar
3rd February till 27th February at The Phoenicia Malta
Sometimes you have to die inside in order to rise from your own ashes, believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person. Nothing remains as it was. I engage in painting based on what I know and I am interested in… some of the healthiest areas to realise are from your own experience. As time goes by you start to relate to things you did in the past and you have more ease, more distance from them so you can work with renewed energy emotion and movement. Sometimes a sketch you have done before can become, with work, a more grounded attempt. Bolder and explicit. The process is one of distillation to the point where it is just spirit. Just itself. Maybe it is the ultimate freedom to do whatever you want and not to be held down by a subject. Painting is beautiful. You have the knowledge in your head. You have the feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You are on your own and you are the one who will decide where to go.
IMITARI MMXXII – by Paul Ellul
S O B E R B L A C K O U T – by Charlene Galea
4th February till 6th February – St Julians
A therapeutic confession with strangers and friends immersing with friends paintings and collages
natural healing and telling truth bringing out a story which other people can connect with releasing inner energy/ inner darkness towards the unconscious has been asleep but not anymore.
EROS – by Kris Farrugia
4th February till 4th March at Desko
Influenced by Renaissance Fine Art, Farrugia honed his staging and editing technique to capture the essence of chiaroscuro paintings in this contemporary medium.
The sleek collection of large-scale works blur the lines between fashion and art, glamour and nude photography. They’re seductive but also tender, and push the boundaries of private moments in a public space. The collection will appeal to the lover of the female form and the architecture aficionados alike.
Taken on location in historical buildings in the artist’s country of residence, the photographs take on a sense of travel through distance and time. Whilst the settings may be hundreds of years old, the subjects are of a modern time, unabashed and unafraid to bare all. This is today’s Renaissance nude.
10th February till 4th March at Aġenzija Żgħażagħ
12th February till 27th February at The Malta Chamber of Commerce
Beauty, chaos and danger:
”THE RAINFOREST, my third solo exhibition, will open on the 12th of February at the Malta Chamber of Commerce in Valletta. This series of paintings will present another personal chapter from the past twelve months; a glimpse into the beauty, chaos and danger seen and felt in the rainforest of Costa Rica. This trip came as a pressure point in my long distance relationship, where we met in the only place where we could bypass quarantine. As we made our way through the rainforest, it felt like it was sweeping us through it, rather than being able to decide where or how to go next. It was a wild, beautiful vortex that tested us, but brought out a deep, addictive trust and comfort in one other.”
Curated by Andrew Borg Wirth
Photographed by Daniel Vella at Gemelli Framing and Art Gallery, Ta’ Qali.
14th February till 20th February at AP Valletta
exhibit-realm will explore interaction in virtual reality at the intersection of physical space. The purpose of this exhibition is to showcase two pieces, both using virtual reality headsets, in order to generate a critical discussion with the viewer.
Rakel Vella and Jacob Saliba are currently undergoing an MA in Digital Arts at the University of Malta and the two installations are part of their final year thesis.
Resfeber – by Sam Byle
18th Februrary till 18th March at Art Date Cafe
After an absence of more than 10 years from his last solo show on Maltese soil, the artist presents new works produced over the past five years.Drawing mainly on Western art history, popular culture and power image traditions, Austin Camilleri explores the tension between the material and the digital, the personal and public by layering techniques and modalities.Conceptually and physically, these works are an extension of Camilleri’s recent research. They rely on a continuous process of creation and erasure, adding of new layers while retaining traces of what has gone before, including doubt, chance and appropriation.