Bank of Valletta is dedicating its 25th Retrospective Art Exhibition to the artistic journey of renowned Maltese artist, Anthony Calleja. Humble and unpretentious, Calleja is an accomplished visual artist, who has firmly established himself as one of the foremost painters on the island.
The exhibition, which is curated by Lisa Gwen Baldacchino, will be inaugurated on 20 October by Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. It will be open to the general public from 21 October until 1 December 2017 at BOV Centre, Triq il-Kanun, Santa Venera.
Born in 1955, Calleja’s early artistic training took place whilst he was working as a ‘studio hand’ with his uncle, the late sculptor Anton Agius, when he was only nine years of age. In 1982, he followed an intensive course of drawing and etching at the Accademia delle Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci in Perugia. Following that, he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Design from Falkirk College for Higher Education in Scotland.
The human form features prominently in Mr Calleja’s work, as do representations of the self. Mr Calleja is a versatile artist, constantly challenging himself, and incessantly experimenting with a broad spectrum of media and techniques, at times also blurring the boundaries of painting and sculpture.
Calleja’s first solo exhibition was held at National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, in 1981. Apart from countless solo and collective exhibitions in Malta, he also exhibited in Gmunden (Austria), Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin, Landsburg, Syros Island (Greece), Bath and Falkirk (UK).
The works exhibited during the BOV Retrospective Exhibition have been painstakingly selected from among the artist’s vast portfolio of work and mark the important milestones as well as key happenings in his life which have shaped and informed his art. As Calleja has himself admitted, “Art is a medium used to express one’s emotions and thoughts. Every artwork is a journey, and I never know what the end result will be like.” To date, Calleja is still experimenting with matter and technique, forever on a quest to quench his thirst for creativity.
The BOV Retrospective Art exhibitions have been a staple on the annual artistic calendar since 1999. Organised by a specifically designated committee, these exhibitions form part of the Bank’s Community Programme and are aimed at generating a greater appreciation for Maltese art and artists and by contributing to Malta’s cultural legacy.
The exhibition will be open to the public from Monday to Friday between 08.30 to 16.30 hours and on Saturdays between 8.30 am and 1 pm. Visitors are requested to show their ID card at reception desk when calling at BOV Centre.