18 June – 03 July 2021
Mother (2021) & Victor Agius event poster
Victor Agius - Recent Works
Most of the works by Victor Agius included in this collection ‘Recent Works’ at Valletta Contemporary were started in November 2020 during a five day art residency at the Gabriel Caruana Foundation in Malta. Agius is a Gozitan artist whose thickly textured paintings, installations and sculptures achieve uniquely sculptural surfaces incorporating organic and earthy elements such as Gozitan Blue Clay, terrarossa, natural pigments, cement and other media.
Agius’s practice demonstrates a direct affinity with the earth and the natural elements which are clearly demonstrated in his continuous research about primitive rudiments and rituals and also man’s incessant rapport with nature, time and his own existence.
He lives and works a few meters away from the pre-historic sites of Ġgantija Temples and the Xagħra Stone Circle (c.3, 600 B.C.) on the Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta. He roams the island like a nomad documenting its rituals and collecting clay and earth from excavations made continuously by construction companies. His local familiar landscape is treated as his materia prima to elicit universal existential themes. His works deal with man’s relation with the earth and its consumption for spiritual, ritualistic and for quotidian reasons. He is committed to present his research in its pure form using an archaeological approach around formless matter.
In this collection the core of Agius’s practice can be experienced through his shamanic gestures in which the primordial matter of terrarossa and clay are set in confrontation with cement and concrete which are the symbols of the modern world, exposing our fragile existence in the Anthropocene.
Victor Agius, b.1982, is an artist working in sculpture, painting, video, performance and installation. His practice demonstrates a direct affinity with the earth and the natural elements which are clearly demonstrated in his continuous research about primitive rudiments and rituals and also man’s incessant rapport with nature, time and his own existence. After graduating from the University of Malta (2004), he furthered his studies in Perugia, Italy and at the Central Saint Martin’s College for Art and Design in London (UK). He is co-founder of Ars Vitae Ensemble. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.
His works have been exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts and at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta, at the UNESCO World Heritage site Ġgantija temples, at the Mdina Cathedral, at The Royal Theatre in Valletta, at St Agatha’s Catacombs in Rabat, at The Mill – Art,Culture and Crafts Centre and in local and international galleries including St Eufemia Gallery in Venice, at Lauba Gallery in Zagreb, and at the Ceramic Context in Bornholm, Denmark. His works are to be found in numerous private and public collections worldwide, and in international publications.
In 2016 he was invited to exhibit his works at the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Italy during the Settimana dell’Contemporaneo. In 2017 his work was included in an international project between contemporary artists from Poland and Malta which was held in Valletta where he exhibited along with Mark Mangion, Vince Briffa, Miroslaw Balka, Austin Camilleri, Paweł Althamer and Raphael Vella amongst others. He was also invited to exhibit his artworks in Nisġa, a collective exhibition of a selection of contemporary artists together with Maltese masters which was organised by Valletta 2018 at Spazju Kreattiv. In January 2019 his sculptures where launched at Galleria Eduardo Secci in Florence in a curated international collective exhibition curated by Pietro Gagliano entitled Mass Spectacle. His work entitled ‘Terrarossa’ was shortlisted for the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In May 2019 his proposal for Art in Public Spaces named Ħaġarna was inaugurated together with a performance in Xagħra, Gozo. In 2020 Agius was selected amongst 500 applicants by an international jury to exhibit with another 49 artists at the renowned Premio Faenza Biennale of contemporary ceramics at the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza Italy which was later launched virtually in 2021. In November 2020 Agius was invited for a 5 day art residency at The Mill in Malta by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation.