The Malta Independent 18 November 2018, Sunday

Gilbert Calleja exhibits his works at Moya in Vienna

Malta Independent Sunday, 29 June 2014, 09:36 Last update: about 5 years ago

Malta participated in the VII Moya – Museum of Young Art Annuale 2014 which was held in the Palais Schonborn under the patronage of the mayor of Vienna Dr Michael Haupl and H.E. Mr Keith Azzopardi, the Ambassador of Malta to Austria.

“The Moya annual exhibition is an excellent opportunity for Malta to promote its young artists within the prestigious institution of the Museum of Young Artists and its premises in the Palais Schonborn at the heart of Vienna’s cultural centre,” Ambassador Azzopardi said while he underlined the importance of such opportunities to promote Malta’s cultural life adding that the Embassy in Austria is seeking such activities to further Malta’s stand in favour of more intercultural dialogue and cooperation.

Malta was represented by Gilbert Calleja who showed a number of paintings and drawings which focus on the idea of the human figure in struggle both with its own physicality as well as with its own emotions. The works were executed between 2011 and 2013 and the artist has chosen to work with a combination of raw materials and a very primitive aesthetic. Using wood and cement as the main support, he then applies a very restricted amount of bold signs in paint and charcoal to suggest the body in movement or at rest.

The palette is often restricted to reds, whites and ochres while the bold execution and fluid lines give the final images a sense of movement and bear the mark of the expressionist sense of physical turmoil. This emotional quality is further accentuated by an underlying sexual tension that pervades all his figures torn in parts and never presented in their entirety.

Gilbert Calleja studied History of Art at the University of Malta and Fine Arts at the University of Paris (Paris 1-Sorbonne). He is currently employed with the Junior College of the University of Malta and is also involved in a number of photographic projects.

The Moya 2014 exhibition saw the participation of 17 international artists coming from 10 different countries, namely Algeria, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Austria, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Malta’s participation was made possible thanks to the support of the Embassy of Malta in Austria and the Vienna International Airport.

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