The exhibition ‘Preżenza’ is the artist’s way of dealing with the tragedy.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, long-standing artist Alex Dalli’s exhibition is quite literally his way of emerging from the devastation caused by a fire that damaged part of his house, including important artworks. Some of the works exhibited will show obvious signs of ‘damage’ as a result of the event, while others were directly inspired by the experience.
Trained with local art stalwarts like George Fenech, Esprit Barthet and Harry Alden, Dalli is a sensitive artist who uses his art as a metaphorical walking stick that accompanies him on all of his journeys. Using academic research and technique as a starting point, his art is mainly concerned with the exploration of the spiritual through simple and abstracted forms and compositions. Dalli’s artistic oeuvre is characterised by a particular stylised visual language which captures the salient features and essences of things.
When asked about why he decided to put up this exhibition, Dalli commented: “I wanted the paintings to speak for me, and going through this process of externalisation of what me and my family have been through has helped me a lot psychologically. Some of the works feature darkness and soot, while others picture me and my wife leaving the scene hand in hand.”
Curated by Roderick Camilleri, the exhibition is named ‘Preżenza’ (presence in Maltese) because of various reasons. As Camilleri explains, the works have a lot of ‘presence’ that compels the viewer to look intensely. In a way they’re also the artist’s way of saying ‘I’m still here, present and standing’, but the concept of the presence also reflects ancient philosophies to strip down works to an ‘essential’ state of being.
“Preżenza” by Alex Dalli is opening this Thursday 27 June 2019 at 7pm in the Art Galleries of Palazzo de La Salle, Malta Society of Arts, Valletta. The exhibition will remain open until Saturday 20 July 2019. For opening hours visit www.artsmalta.org/events/prezenza-exhibition-by-alex-dalli. Entrance is free.