About this Artwork:

This incredibly rare print boasts a fantastic story of friendship and vision, weaving both the lives of Maltese architect and artist Norbert Francis Attard with the then-Curator of Malta’s National Museum of Fine Arts, Dennis Vella. It essence, this artwork is a fantastic mashup of 3 great architectural print studies showing off clean colour work and bold arabesque geometry.

Albeit unassuming to the untrained eye, this print was handpicked by Artemisia’s owner, Christina Busuttil, at one of the hottest auctions Malta witnessed in 2019; The Dennis Vella Collection. (For more about Dennis Vella, please click here.) Upon winning the bid Christina immediately set out to interview architect, artist and owner of Valletta Contemporary Art Gallery Mr. Attard for his opinion and memories concerning this very particular work. What follows is a summary of their meeting.

This print is a composite work, a serendipitous and beautiful accident that sometimes happens whilst an artist prints his works at a professional printer (if not produced by the artist’s own press). Each paper destined to contain the designated artwork needs to pass through the press several times before being completed, so registration is of the utmost importance. ‘To get a perfect registered edition of say 100, one would require hundreds of sheets of paper to begin with. The machines I worked with in the 70’s, up until 1986, were far from perfect so there was no option but to start printing with at least 500 sheets per edition. This fact alone, technically speaking, was a great achievement because it was so difficult to register them perfectly. To achieve the quality I was after made it almost miraculous ‘ says the artist.  For some reason, this sheet captured various plate marks attributed to the 3 artworks below:

MIHRAB XIII, Lithograph, 33 x 44cm, 10 plates, Edition 100 + 20 AP, 1983, Printed at Eagle Press, Tarxien, Malta.

MIHRAB IV, Silkscreen, 34 x 44.5cm, 8 plates, 100 + 20 AP, 1985, Printed at Advanced Graphics, London.

MIHRAB VI, Lithograph, 40 x 55cm, 6 plates, 1985, 100 + 20 AP, Printed at Eagle Press, Tarxien, Malta.

An edition was in turn made up of several plates- anywhere between 4 and 12, which makes this artwork even more special, to say the least. Usually this kind of print would be thrown away however Dennis Vella picked it up and asked the artist to sign it, which he did- as can be seen on the lower right and left hand corners of this artwork.

‘This print is unique in the sense that it is not part of an edition. There is only one like it so in a sense has great value now’ says Attard.


*Condition report available upon request*


About Norbert Attard:

Arguably one of Malta’s contemporary Arts & Culture masterminds, Norbert Francis Attard is a person that will go down in Maltese history for a plethora of reasons. Below is but a short bio which can be expanded upon here.

Norbert Francis Attard started as a self-taught painter and graphic artist before turning to installation art in 1998. He graduated in Architecture from the University of Malta in 1977, practicing the profession as architect for twenty years until 1996. He lived in Germany in 1978/1979 working with the firm ‘Licht in Raum’, directed by Johannes Dinnebier, one of Germany’s pioneers in light design.

Attard now focuses on a contemporary art practice that incorporates architecture, sculpture, photography, video and installation, to explore his major interests in places and their memories. He blurs the boundaries of these disciplines to incorporate the irreducible physicality of sites, and to explore their sedimented multiple layers of memory, treating them as a product of place, of social interaction, and as a generative process.

Attard represented Malta in the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. Aside from this prestigious milestone, he is a founding member of stART (2002) – a group of Maltese contemporary artists; a committee member of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (2002-2005) and currently director of GOZO contemporary since 2001 – an art space, offering self-directed residencies to international and local artists, on the island of Gozo.

Some of his International Exhibits: Maifesta 9 Parallel Events, Genk, Belgium (2012); Beaufort 04, De Panne, Belgium (2012); Meridian/Urban Project, Berlin, Germany (2011); Galeria Nuble, Santander, Spain (2011); OSTRALE 011, Dresden, Germany;  I-Park, Connetticut, USA (2011); 5th Biennial VentoSul, Curitiba, Brazil (2009); 25th Alexandria Biennial, Egypt (2009); CUBE OPEN, Manchester, UK (2009); 2nd Bienal de Canarias, Canary Islands (2009); INHABIT 09, Brisbane, Australia (2009); Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK. (2008); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2008); INTRUDE 366, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2008); 3rd Echigo Tsumari Triennale, Japan, (2006); Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2005); Casoria Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples, Italy (2005); ARTIADE, Athens, Greece (2004); 8th Havana Biennale (2003); Macedonia Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece (2003); 2nd Liverpool Biennale (2002); Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland (2002); FLOATING LAND, Noosa, Australia (2001); DIASPORA, Oviedo, Spain (1998), among others.

Style Architectural, Contemporary
Origin Malta
Period Contemporary
Artist Norbet Attard
Medium Print
Material Print

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An Exceedingly Rare Print by Norbert Attard with great provenance!

700.00 excl. VAT


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