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Materiality, Chance And Flukes: Valletta To Be Treated To Celebration Of Contemporary Artistry Alongside Historical Artists From Malta And Germany

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Artistic printmakers are in for a real treat this November with iMprint’s fourth appointment, taking place at the Malta Society of Arts in Valletta from the 7th thru to the 30th.

iMprint is the brainchild of Jesmond Vassallo, who set the project up with a very specific set of aims.

“To promote original printmaking and to transmit the creative and artistic values of original prints among the general public.”

Detail of an etching by Horst Janssen | 1993; “2 naughty dance for you great John Neumeier

The public isn’t going to be disappointed; their expectations will surely be met with what iMprints is doing again this year.

2019’s edition, curated by Christian Attard, Grafika – Of Form and Image holds an underlying theme of printmaking techniques with a focus on etching, and how the method possesses an uncanny quality wherein the reining of technical processes of a well-seasoned artist is unconquerable.

The finished result? The impression. A meticulous process, equally the result of a number of variables, chance, flukes, effects of materiality as well as unrelated, external factors that take place throughout the creation process.

Because of this, moods and sensations – aesthetic responses – are elicited through the printed image.

The result of a series of actions and reactions that occasionally lie outside of the artists’ authority.

Detail of an etching by Frank Portelli | 1950; The Sermon, Brompton Oratory.

The etching, therefore, attains a mystical quality akin to the likes of Acheiropoieta imagery – works created without the aid of human hands, allegedly appearing as miraculously as the divine embodiments they display.

This year, iMprint is proud to present a selection of etched images, a collection crafted by two very prominent artists – Frank Portelli and Horst Janssen.

Portelli is well known for his Cubism work, a deep spirituality and his deep-seated melancholy, permeating the majority of his art.

Janssen was an immensely talented German graphic artist, his work very typical of Northern similars, tackling themes of eroticism and death through portraiture.

It would have been interesting to overhear the dialogue between these two, should the stars have aligned, to hear the language evolve from the spirituality of one to the irreverence of the other; an insight into how they’re unparalleled, with different attitudes towards a technique proving how close in proximity they actually are.

Janssen and Portelli will be joined by 25 contemporary artists who are all intimately linked with Malta… either through their heritage or simply because they made Malta their new home.

Another body of work by Maltese artist Frank Portelli

All of the artists are very much alive and active and even though they all use basic etching techniques when creating their images, the results coaxed out of the time-honoured processes are as incredible as they are diverse.

The themes tackled are equally heterogeneous and range from the whole traditional iconographical gamut and then some; self-portrait, abstract, conceptual, nude and outright quirkiness. 

Are you hyped for this exhibition? Tag your artsy friends in the comments on Facebook so they don’t miss this great event!

READ NEXT: Bittersweet On The Tongue: Maltese Visual Artist Turns To Crowdfunding For His First Solo International Exhibit

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