inKimika |

Jesmond Vassallo

Exhibition |

11 Mar 2022 - 17 Apr 2022

It was at Atelier 10 where Lino Borg, Justin Falzon and Jesmond Vassallo, three Maltese artists and printmakers, joined forces with French master printmaker Laurent Nicolaï to experiment and learn more about the technique of lithography on stone. This resulted in Atelier 10 inviting other artists to create editions of their work and rediscover stone lithography. Therefore, 3 Maltese printmakers, 5 contemporary artists, a French lithographer and 2 lithographic workshops worked together for a revival of the long-lost technique of stone lithography, a process that was taken up enthusiastically in Malta by a significant group of artists throughout the 19th century but survived only in an industrial and commercial context in the 20th century.

For the first time in these last 100 years, five Maltese artists who had never used lithography before, were introduced to the medium. Vince Briffa, Sue Flask, Debbie Caruana Dingli, Paul Scerri and Robert Zahra all produced black and white images which exploited some of the possibilities of this process. The result entailed the creation of limited editions of very high-quality lithographs. The entire editions (no matter the size of the edition) were laboriously and individually printed one by one, by hand.

Additionally, the exhibition will also see artworks from the National Collection by Michele Bellanti, Pietro Paolo Caruana, Antonio Falzon and Filippo Benucci.

This exhibition is supported by FIM Bank and Arts Council Malta.

Highlights from the exhibition


Jesmond Vassallo

Jesmond Vassallo (b.1976) works in various media painting, graphic arts and sculpture.

Jesmond studied Hisotry of Art at the University of Malta and fine arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara. In Carrara, Vassallo obtained his Masters in sculpture as his main subject. Vassallo’s research here focused on the medium of sculpture and modelling in clay and his work from the period are 3 dimensional and vary from clay to plaster to cement and resins and bronze.

Vassallo’s first encounter with the printmaking medium took place with Lino Borg at the University of Malta. In Carrara, Italy deepened his knowledge of printmaking techniques with Silvia Montanelli.

After obtaining his Masters at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Carrara, Vassallo worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice for 4 months. By the end of the stage, Vassallo presented a collection of drawings done during his stay in this important museum. Dr Philip Rylands, the former director of the Peggy Guggenheim Venice had inaugurated this collection of drawings.

Vassallo has been organizing cyclically an international intaglio platform entitled iMprint since 2013. As from the year 2019, Vassallo restored this international event to a biennale format. iMprint disseminates appreciation and awareness of intaglio printmaking as an artistic medium. iMprint’s last edition paid a homage Horst Janssen – a German post-war artist whose works can be found in major museums worldwide and to the works of his Maltese contemporary Frank Portelli – a genius of modern art in Malta.

Since 2018 Vassallo set up Atelier 10, a collaborative lithographic studio.

Atelier 10 is an art house publishing house & edition maker of fine art lithography – this printmaking studio collaborates & publishes works of contemporary local and international artists.

Laurent Nicolaï

The artist Laurent Nicolaï was born in 1975.

He had already several exhibitions before he was twenty.

In 2000 he received his diploma from the School of Fine Arts in Marseille specialising in etching. His artistic work revolves around the multiple forms of print-making.

Today, he is the director the ADN print workshop (Atelier D’estampe Nicolaï), an independent printshop where one can find all the presses necessary for the production of large format printing, (Wood-prints, copper-plate etching and lithography).

Laurent teaches and accompanies professional artists through their work processes in print-making, he also gives pedagogical workshops (History and technique) in colleges and high-schools as well as in muse

Lino Borg

Lino Borg (b. 1951) received his education at the University of Malta and commenced his artistic studies under Samuel Bugeja and George Fenech, and later at the Malta School of Art under Esprit Barthet, Harry Alden and Marius Zerafa. Studied intaglio under Mario Paglialunga at the Accademia Pietro Vannuci, Perugia, Italy. He underwent courses in planography under Eduard Schmid in Kaufering Germany and Youssef Elkahfaï in Marrakesh, Morocco and Pablo Delfini in Rome. Borg was employed with the Museums Department, as an art teacher in government secondary schools with the Department of Education and as a visiting lecturer at the faculties of education, art, and built environment at the University of Malta. He holds a print-making class at the Malta School of Art. He has publications on art in Malta.

Justin Falzon

Justin Falzon (b. 1982) is a practicing artist specializing in drawing, painting and printmaking. He is currently based in Malta where he also teaches at the Gozo,Visual and Performong Arts school. He studied at the Lorenzo de´ Medici Art Institute in Florence, Italy. He showed his work both in collective and solo exhibitions, in several countries, and his work is found in several private and public collections around the world.

Christian Attard

Christian Attard is a researcher, educator and exhibition curator. He has published several articles and papers which deal with different aspects of History of Art. In 2001, along with other authors, he has contributed to a commemorative book about the artist Ġużeppi Briffa (1901-1987), published to mark the first centenary since this artist’s birth. In 2013 he published a monograph on the artist Gianni Vella (1885-1977). Attard’s main areas of interest include the art of the turn-of-the-twentieth century and the iconography of death.

His doctoral thesis, The Visual Culture of Death in Malta 1675-1813 : Art and the Rituals of Death in an Age when Plague was a Feared Reality was carried out under the tutelage of Prof. Keith Sciberras (University of Malta) and Prof. Nigel Llewellyn (Head of Research, Tate). At present Attard lectures at the University of Malta and at the Malta School of Art. He has formed part of the curator-team working in the bicentenary exhibition dedicated to the Schranz artists; and in 2020 curated the exhibition Movement which showcased the sculptural maquettes made for monumental works for the embellishment of the Marsa Junction Project. His book: The Art of Good Dying: Visual Culture in Times of Plague, Malta 1675-1814 will be published in the coming months.

Vince Briffa

Artist, curator and academic, studied at the University of Leeds and the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. Produces gallery and site-specific artwork, objects and installations
integrating traditional artistic practices with digital and electronic media.

Awarded the prize ‘Omaggio all’Arte ed all’Innovazione a Venezia 2019’ by The Union of Honorary Consuls of Italy (UCOI) and the National Association of Young Innovators (ANGI) at the 2019 Venice Art Biennale.

He has represented his country internationally and had his work exhibited in major museums and art galleries worldwide, including the Malta Pavilion at the 48th and 58th editions of the Venice Art Biennale (1999 and 2019); the Pierides Museum of Contemporary Art in Nicosia, Cyprus; the Palais des Nations, United Nations Building, Geneva, Switzerland; the Museum of Modern Art, Vaduz, Liechtenstein; the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, and Villa Manin Centre of Contemporary Art, Udine, Italy; MAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santa Fe, Argentina; Palais Liechtenstein, Feldkirch, Austria; The Museum of Fine Arts, Cluj, Romania and the Museum of Modern Art, Tel Aviv, Israel amongst many others. He has also had commissioned projects at the Cork 2005, Pafos 2017, Valletta 2018 and Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018, European Capitals of Culture. His work forms part of numerous prestigious private and public collections.

He is a Fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, New York and has also curated numerous exhibitions internationally including the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf, and the Münchner Künstlerhaus, Munich, Germany; Les Rencontres, Arles, France; De Harmonie, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands; the Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta and Spazju Kreattiv, St. James Cavalier, Valletta, Malta amongst others. Briffa has published numerous papers and books related to art practice.

Debbie Caruana Dingli

Debbie Caruana Dingli has been painting steadily since her first exhibition in 1985. She paints mostly in watercolour, her favourite subjects being people and animals. Debbie adopts a cartoon style when expressing a more serious side to her. At Lily Agius Gallery, Debbie shall show a number of never-seen-before portraits in oils.

For the last couple of years she has joined Celia Borg Carodona and Francesca Balzan at Celia’s studio in Lija, painting a different model every Tuesday evening. Debbie finds the three hours a race against time to capture both likeness and personality of the sitter, this helps a spontaneous approach.

Sue Flask

Sue Flask b. 1972, graduated in 2001 from the University of Malta, Primary Art teacher since 2002 and married with 3 young children. A very versatile artist mainly specialising in portrait art, in techniques and styles. A book illustrator working mostly digitally, having illustrated several Maltese books. Won various art competitions, amongst them the 9th National Art competition organized by the MSA (Malta) and the drawing category for the Fine Art Magazine (USA). Featured in it-Torċa – Perspettivi – ‘It-tnebbih ta’ ħolma’ by Fiona Vella 2011 and in Artist & Illustrators Magazine 2011. Painting and drawing daily is a priority, with several paintings and drawings around the world.

Paul Scerri

Paul Scerri is an artist of a few words. He excels in creating intrigue, and in depicting stereotypical characters, whilst delicately adding notions of injustice and narcissism. His sculptures are free to individual interpretations. Paul Scerri clearly describes his work by stating “the character of my work has effectively made a full circle since, from the figurative, I moved to abstract ceramic creation and now have now turned back to figurative work”.

His career exceeds more than forthy years, starting an artistic journey way back in the 1970s.Paulwas lucky enough to embark on professional training under the eminent tutorship of Esprit Barthet. He then successfully landed a number of scholarships in Italy, namely at the Accademia Belle Arti Pietro Vanucci of Perugia. This was followed by studies at the Istituto Statale D’Arte G. Ballardini in Faenza. This was the juncture where he became enraptured by the clay medium.

He nourished his knowledge in design and decoration of ceramic tiles by completing his studies in Imola. Impressively, Paul Scerri was awarded first prize in Ceramics at the ‘1° Concorso Avis’ which was held in Faenza. This encapsulated his Italian experience. He returned to Malta to teach at the Art and Design Centre in Valletta.

Robert Zahra

Robert Zahra’s work consists mainly of drawings and paintings, although sometimes he ventures into other visual artistic fields such as photography and interventions. His personal artistic projects ensured his involvement with subjects such as the urban environment and the human body.

Robert Zahra balances his time between teaching Art and working in the studio. He is interested in both of these practices as he views the two fields as ongoing adventurous, experimental processes. Robert read Art Education at Masters level at the University of Malta and painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan.

Zahra presented his work in a number of solo and collective exhibitions held in Malta and in Italy. He also collaborated with other artists in various interdisciplinary projects.

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