For its final exhibition this year, Art..e Gallery is presenting a series of intimate new works by one of Maltas leading contemporary artists: Austin Camilleri.
Returning to exhibit in Gozo after a five year absence, Camilleri is presenting a series of new works on paper, a first in Gozo for the artist.
Ideas at embryonic stage or whimsical scribbles? These new mixed media interventions are immediately recognisable as belonging to Camilleris output of the past two years. They were produced simultaneously to the large paintings presented last year at Malta Contemporary Art Foundation
, either as thoughts to be developed or as a distilled overflow of finished works. Although the research and processes involved are akin to those of his large canvases, a striking sense of urgency and immediacy not evident in the larger equivalent works is now palpable.
The current works are often composed in layers of opposing elements where pentimenti are deliberately emphasized. Camilleri makes use of, often at once, charcoal, non-newtonian inks, dry pigments, acrylic, pencils, pens, pastels and bitumen to produce works that feed on contemporary society. Set on drawing as the vehicle for expressing acute observations, Camilleris commentary shifts from social criticism to sharp humor; an absurd spectacle of politics and art floating as one in a limbo of rough splashes and symmetry where abstract and figurative coexist in aesthetic harmony.
Just like the Rorschach blots they sometimes feature, the works do not present a single, specific reading. Camilleris primary concern is to explore and often to question the blurring of supposed oppositions.
Austin Camilleri works across different media, including video, installation, painting and sculpture. He has exhibited in both solo and group shows hosted by contemporary art institutions in Europe, South America, South Africa and the USA amongst others. Having represented Malta in international exhibitions on several instances, his work is also included in many significant private, corporate and public collections.
CAMILLERI on paper is supported by Actavis and Bank of Valletta.