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Master of the Nude – exhibition at Valletta Archeology Museum

Master of the Nude – exhibition at Valletta Archeology Museum

The Valletta Cultural Agency (VCA) is presenting an exhibition between the 4 of December and the 9 of January, displaying a selection of recent works by acclaimed figurative artist Patrick Dalli.

Taking place at the Gran Salon of the Museum of Archeology on Republic Street in the capital city of Valletta, The Journey showcases no less than 34 paintings, including a bozzetto, which is a clay study for a larger sculpture. The works are centres on the artists’ ongoing exploration of the human body.

Patrick Dalli has often been dubbed as master of the nude, as he concentrates on the beauty and sensitivity of the nude human body and does not intend to evoke sensual or sexual qualities in his depictions. With richly painted frescoes, exquisite arabesque cycles, a musicians’ gallery and wooden beamed ceiling, the Baroque setting of the museum serves as an apt backdrop for the exhibition.

According to the artist, nudity is still a “revolutionary detonator”, even though it has been present in art for as long as human beings have been creating it.

Who is the artist?

Patrick Dalli was born in 1955 and was primarily interested in landscape, still life and portraiture. By 1995, he began formal training under the tutorship of a certain Anton Calleja, exercising mainly in the study of the human figure. During these active years, Dalli concentrated his practice on the nude. In the following years, together with some other artists, he practiced intensely during live sessions and participated in collective exhibitions in Malta and abroad, exhibiting nudes, landscapes and still-life paintings.

What about this exhibition?

Well, the catalogue for this exhibition in particular, involves an introduction penned by professor Vittorio Sgarbi and a critical essay written by Dr Charlene Vella, published by La Nave di Teseo, under the Valletta Cultural Agency’s copyright.

It’s curated by Elisabetta Sgarbi, the published of La Nave di Teseo. The exhibition is coordinated by Valerio Ballotta (GBK Malta Ltd), as well as Stefano Losani and Elisabetta Sgarbi.

In terms of previous exhibitions, Dalli’s works were shown at St James Cavalier (2010), the Malta Fine Arts Museum (2010), Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto, Italy (2015) and il-Kamra ta’ Fuq (2021). His publications include Dermografie, Gutenberg Press 2015, The Human Figure, Gutenberg Press 2010, Nudes, Midesea Books 2008 and 2004 and The Human Figure 2002.

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