Bank of Valletta is proud to announce that the protagonist of its upcoming exhibition will be none other than the renowned Joseph Calleja. At the venerable age of 93, Calleja, who spent most of his artistic life living in Toronto Canada, will be returning to Malta after an absence of twenty years, for this exhibition.
This year, the 26th BOV Retrospective Art Exhibition will be hosted at the Gran Salon at the Auberge de Provence in Triq ir-Repubblika, Valletta. This magnificent baroque hall, which is currently undergoing much-needed conservation with the support of the Bank, provides the perfect backdrop for the works by Joseph Calleja, many of which are from the artist’s own collection.
The exhibition will be inaugurated by H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta and will be open to the public between the 1st June and the 15 July 2018. Over 70 pieces featuring paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photographs spanning decades of dedication to art by Joseph Calleja will take centre stage. His sculptures in bronze and hardstone, as well as examples of moving, kinetic art, which remain his signature pieces to date, will be extensively featured.
The exhibition curator, Dr Theresa Vella said that Calleja, whose works feature at the Museum of Fine Arts in Malta as well as the National Gallery of Canada and Hamilton Art Gallery, is really looking forward to this exhibition. Born in Xewkija, Gozo to a family of stone-masons in 1924, Calleja decided to pursue art from an early age. “Calleja is a firm believer that ‘an artist always mirrors his own time’ and as he himself claims, his involvement with kinetics and sculpture reflect the 20th century technological innovations and global social upheavals.”
In the late 1960s, Calleja earned his place on the international art scene with murals in light, by means of his own experimental blend of pictorial imagination through the medium of technology. In 1972, Calleja returned with a series of kinetic sculptures in polished chromed steel, moved by hidden motors and augmented by mirrors to create undulating shapes together with reflected bursts of light. Some years after retiring in 1984, Calleja returned to the art of his youth – ‘his first love’ - stone carving, creating elemental forms which are drawn out of his memory of prehistoric sculptures.
Calleja is the latest in the series of modern contemporary artists whose contribution to the Maltese artistic scene are honoured in Bank of Valletta’s Retrospective Art Exhibitions, which are organised every year. Over the years, BOV paid tribute to some of the most famous artists of our islands like Antoine Camilleri and Frank Portelli, fellow artists of Joseph Calleja and members of the Modern Art Circle of the 1950s.
Joseph Calleja’s works may be viewed on on http://josephcalleja.ca