Renowned local artist Patrick Dalli’s exhibition Landforms opens on Thursday 21 July at the Art Galleries of the Malta Society of Arts (MSA) in Valletta. The exhibition will present a new body of work consisting of around 25 large, stylised, oil-on-linen paintings, representing the artist’s personal impression and interpretation of local landscapes.
Dalli says that the seed for this exhibition was planted during a conversation with the exhibition’s curator, Roderick Camilleri. “At the time, I was just beginning to work on a new body of large paintings that revolved around landscapes,” comments the artist. “That conversation stimulated me to keep on creating and present these works to the public through a solo exhibition.”
Dalli’s new collection uses a bright palette of colours to portray his abstracted landscapes. “I work very spontaneously using a selection of colours which are usually ready at hand,” explains Dalli about his process. “My favourite colours are ultramarine blue, cobalt violet, emerald green, yellow ochre and carmine. I often include carmine in my paintings. However, I never limit myself to any particular set of colours, as I am always open to try different hues.”
After that conversation with Dalli, Camilleri continued to work hand-in-hand with the artist. “In my role as a curator, I had to weave together different elements such as content, selection, design and presentation, in order to present an engaging and stimulating experience to the public,” he divulges. “The exhibition will feature a unique series of large-scale paintings expressing colour fields and stylised compositions, representing forceful landforms. Moreover, it will be the first showcase of Dalli’s fresh work which characterises his new thematic and painterly approach.”
This particular selection of work which will now be presented as the Landforms collection was developed and created from en plein air painting. “COVID restrictions led me to work outside of my studio and enjoy the local natural atmosphere, away from the distractions and chaotic tension which the pandemic created,” recalls Dalli. “My process develops in a very spontaneous and intuitive manner. I usually start from a small painterly sketch or a bozzetto which I create on-site. This acts as my starting point as I always interpret and process what I see to create a very personal and stylised composition. The sketches which I prefer are then usually reinterpreted and developed into a large paintings, and this is what I did for Landforms.”
MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo expressed his satisfaction that the MSA is facilitating Dalli’s new direction in his career. “The MSA is pleased to be hosting Dalli’s first exhibition presenting a never-seen-before body of work that is totally different to the large nudes that Dalli is known for,” he says. “As a Society, we always encourage artists to experiment and explore new creative paths, and this case is no exception.”
Landforms by Patrick Dalli and curated by Roderick Camilleri is on between 21 July and 11 August 2022 at the Art Galleries of the Malta Society of Arts, Palazzo de La Salle, Republic Street, Valletta. Entrance is free. For more details about the exhibition please visit www.artsmalta.org or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.