Catalogue: Sensory World

Figure 1 Victor Pasmore

Figure 1 Victor Pasmore, Sensory World, 1996, Etching and Aquatint, Signed and Dated in Pencil, numbered 34/35

Victor Pasmore (1908 – 1998)
Sensory World
1996
Etching and Aquatint
Signed and Dated (bottom right), numbered 34/35 (bottom left) in Pencil

Provenance

Sensory World, 1996 by Victor Pasmore was purchased by Artemisia Fine Arts and Antiques on 24th February 2018 from Obelisk Auctioneers and Valuers.[1] In 2014 the same print was sold at a London auction to an anonymous bidder but, this is likely when the work came to Malta.[2] The exact provenance before 2014 remains unknown however, it is known that the work was produced in Rome where Pasmore printed most of his work. We can also confirm that Pasmore was residing in his Maltese home in Gudja when the print was produced.[3]

Report Summary: Sensory World, 1996 is an etching with aquatint printed in colour by Victor Pasmore (1908-1998), a leading protagonist of abstract art in Britain (fig. 1). The etching, which is signed and dated, is a key work in the study of Pasmore’s late artistic development, characterised by his use of bright colours. The artist settled on the Maltese islands in 1966 when he finished his career as an art educator, he lived in Gudja till his death in 1998. Pasmore’s teaching practice and his prolific oeuvre served as a source of inspiration to many of his contemporaries both in Britain and the Maltese Islands.

Figure 1 Victor Pasmore

Figure 1 Victor Pasmore, Sensory World, 1996, Etching and Aquatint, Signed and Dated in Pencil, numbered 34/35

Report

Sensory World, 1996 is a typical etching and aquatint which forms part of Victor Pasmore’s late oeuvre, marked by its simplicity in design and pure abstraction (fig. 1). There are a number of notable contrasts which appear after close analysis of Sensory World, 1996. The luminous yellow hue, for example, is contrasted by the purity of the stark white background and the bold placement of black lines. The solid black line is juxtaposed by a singular thin uneven, yet continuous line, which is further contrasted by the lone small black circle on the left-hand side. Sensory World, 1996 can be considered as the embodiment of Pasmore’s metamorphic vision which has been described as ‘a marvellous exploration of freedom versus constraint, lightness versus weight.’[4] The energetic line which trails downwards is weighed down by the heavy black forms and the bright yellow background which escapes the border of the work. The work is signed and dated in pencil, with Pasmore’s typical ‘VP’ monogram in the lower right-hand corner. On the left-hand corner it is numbered 34 out of a series of 35 prints.

The pure abstraction which characterised Pasmore’s work for over 40 years, and is prevalent in Sensory World, 1996, was developed after his conversation with a more naturalistic form of representation. It is also important to note that although Pasmore was an art educator he received very little formal art education himself. He was forced to start working, and abandon his academic responsibilities at a young age due to the premature death of his father.[5] With that being said, his early source of inspiration was from the British artist J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) who he first came into contact with at the Tate Britain during the early 20s. He had a great admiration of Turner’s work and believed his work ‘asserted the independent nature of painting’ long before the artists of the late 19th century.[6] Pasmore sought, in his own art, to emulate Turner’s artistic philosophy, who he venerated above all others.  He was also influenced by French Impressionists and Post-Impressionist painters. In fact, his early work is characterised by its synthesis of Turner’s freedom of expression and inventiveness with the modern impressionistic representation of everyday scenes and figures.

His experimentation with abstraction began as early as 1930s as a young artist however, by his own admission he felt that he had not matured enough as an artist to continue thus, he reverted back to a form of realism.[7] It was during the late 1940s and early 50s where Pasmore felt the confidence to seriously pursue a fully abstract form and it is from here that he was to establish himself as one of Britain’s leading abstract artists.[8] In 1951 Pasmore read the book by Charles Biederman (1906 – 2004) titled Art as the Evolution of Visual Knowledge, which influenced Pasmore to develop a purely objective form of abstract art which does not rely on the figurative.[9] Then, in 1966 the British artist settled in Malta after retiring from his career as an art educator in England.[10]

Thus, it is with Pasmore’s personal artistic development in mind that we can begin to analyse Sensory World. Vibrant colours, such as the bold stroke of yellow which dominates Victor Pasmore’s Sensory World, 1996, are synonymous with his period here on the Maltese islands. Several critics and art writers note that his time here on the island likely affected the colours he chose in his work. The vibrant blues, yellows and greens which now filled his canvasses and prints are often attributed to the Mediterranean climate which Pasmore came into contact with here in Malta. With specific reference to his prints the authors of his catalogue raisonné in 1980 say:

‘Many of his recent compositions with their luminous tones and well-constructed design seem to project a highly personal view of Mediterranean Civilization. The colours of Malta (where the artist has lived these past twelve years), its stones and walls and blue sea, seem to re-emerge in a new form as correspondences in many of these large prints.’[11]

This opinion is not universal however, Alistar Grieve points out that Pasmore famously denied that his work was affected by his new surroundings.[12] Additionally, according to his close friend and collaborator architect Richard England (1937 – ), Pasmore told him that ‘I consciously avoid being influenced by visual optical scenery.’[13] Although he later admitted to England that he was indeed influenced by local architecture and the prehistoric temples to create his Peterlee monument.[14] He repeats himself in another quote where he says:

‘What perhaps is relevant to my new paintings in Malta is that the close and constant proximity of the ancient, mythological and Neolithic past has reinforced my orientation from the physics of art to its biological and psychological content.’[15]

We find echoes of this sentiment recorded in a 1995 interview with the artist who emphasises his admiration for the history on the islands. Pasmore said:

‘Why I like [Malta] is that it has got this tremendous history, going right back to Neolithic times. It has a great history, Arab, Roman, Greek, Italian, Baroque – Valletta is a Baroque city – and British. And all this tremendous history is there in a small space.’[16]

Whatever the reasoning, it is undeniable that the work produced and designed here in Malta is represented by these bold and striking colours like the yellow from Sensory World, 1996.

 

Figure 2 Victor Pasmore and his wife

Figure 2 Victor Pasmore and his wife, Wendy Pasmore, at Dar Gamri in Gudja

 

Pasmore lived in the sleepy town of Gudja in a home known as Dar Gamri, where he was to live till his death in 1998 (fig. 2).[17] His home in Gudja was purposefully chosen for its proximity to the Malta International Airport, just a few kilometres away which allowed Pasmore to travel with more ease. He still had commitments to the Marlborough Gallery in London; where Pasmore held a lifetime representation. He also regularly travelled to Rome in order to supervise the printing of his work. The majority of Pasmore’s prints were produced by the 2RC Edizioni Stamperia D’Arte, studio of Valter (1938 – ) and Eleonora Rossi (1937 – ) (fig. 3).[18] In fact, it is during his time in Malta where most of his prints were produced.[19] The 2RC studio was formed for the sole purpose of developing new graphic techniques which allowed contemporary artists the freedom to explore printmaking as an artistic technique.[20] He struck up a relationship with the Rossi’s in 1969 when they were commissioned to produce a portfolio of prints for a number of artists, including Pasmore, by UNESCO.[21] He continued to work closely with the Italian couple till his death.

Figure 3 Victor Pasmore

Figure 3 Victor Pasmore at Rossi’s print studio in Rome, 1977

Sensory World, 1996 combines the etching and aquatint technique into one work of art. The combination of varying techniques represents Pasmore’s belief in the synthesis of all the arts which was reflected in his choice to produce prints.[22] His interest in the fusion of the arts meant that printmaking became ‘a logical extension of his research’, which can be viewed as a natural progression of his artistic growth and development [23] Pasmore found that ‘aquatint [was] the medium most appropriate to his aims as a printmaker’, through which he could achieve his desired result of combined ‘solidity of form and transparency of colour’.[24]

Through our research it was determined that there are numerous prints, by Pasmore, which share the same name and were also produced in 1996 which means that Sensory World, 1996 was part of a series of prints. In fact, there are also variations on the composition of the work, instead of the yellow Pasmore uses a striking aquamarine colour as a backdrop for the meandering lines and bold black marks in Sensory World (fig. 4). It was not uncommon for Pasmore to produce a series of prints for example, Magic Eye Suite which forms part of the collection of prints and drawings at the Tate Modern (fig. 5).[25] The suite consists of seven prints, four different compositions which are reworked in various colours and were all produced in 1995. A similar pattern is observed in his variations of Sensory World.

The importance of Pasmore as an artist is clear from his inclusion in world-class collections internationally including the Tate Modern, who also house a collection of his prints, and Tate Britain in London.[26] His work is also found in local public collections, most notably at the Victor Pasmore Gallery in Valletta. The gallery, established in 2014, has a selection of Pasmore’s work on permanent display.  He has also been the subject of numerous publications including a monograph by Alistair Grieve in 2010 and more recently a large retrospective exhibition of his work titled Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality was held at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham in 2017.[27]

Figure 4 Victor Pasmore

Figure 4 Victor Pasmore, Sensory World 5, 1996, coloured aquatint, etching on vellum, 28.9 x 51 .0 cm.


Figure 4.1 Victor Pasmore

Figure 4 Victor Pasmore, Magic Eye 1, 1995, Etching Aquatint on Paper, 30 x 32.5, Tate Modern

While the influence Pasmore had on Maltese art is debated, it is undeniable that he cultivated meaningful friendships with other local artists. His introverted nature as well as the fact that he came to Malta to retire from his teaching career perhaps meant that his intention was not to send out waves in the Maltese art world. Nevertheless, he formed close bonds with a number of prominent twentieth-century Maltese artists such as Gabriel Caruana (1929 – 2018), Antoine Camilleri (1922 – 2005), Alfred Chircop (1933-2015) and Richard England (fig. 6). It is also important to note that while Pasmore was on the island he participated in local exhibitions.[28]

Figure 5 Victor Pasmore

Figure 5 Victor Pasmore (centre) with Richard England (left) and Gabriel Caruana (right), 1996

Condition

The print is in excellent condition. There is no evidence of foxing, discolouration or any other stains in the paper which means that the vibrancy of the colours used by Pasmore is still present. The paper has never been torn, folded or otherwise damaged and it appears to be in great condition. It should be noted that the work was likely cut down when the work was framed.[29]

Artemisia’s Recommendations

Due to the print’s excellent condition it requires no immediate intervention. Nevertheless, Artemisia always recommends minimal intervention and always advocates reversible, professional methods of restoration. In this case we strongly recommend preventative measures as part of proper conservation where possible. Additionally, we advise for the print to be exhibited inside a controlled environment which receives minimal sunlight and cleaned infrequently. Cleaning should only be carried out gently with a dry feather duster.

Biography Timeline:

 

1908Born December 3 in Surrey, England, to Dr, Edwin S. Pasmore, a well-known physician and mental specialist, and Gertrude Pasmore, an amateur painter.
Educated at Harrow School, where he first became seriously interested in painting and was introduced to the work and theories of the French Impressionists and British watercolourists. Discovered Turner’s late works at the Tate Gallery, London.1922-26
Painted in his spare time and rented his first studio in Devonshire Street where he attended evening classes at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. His education was cut short following the sudden death of his father, he moved to London and took up employment as a clerk in the Public Health Department of the London County Council until 1937.1927-37
Discovers the revolutionary School of Paris and paints under varied influences ranging from Gauguin and Van Gogh, Rousseau and Modigliani to Matisse, Braque and Picasso. Discovers also oriental art and the Japanese Print.1929
1933Elected a member of the London Artists’ Association.

Had his first one-person show at the Association’s Cooling Galleries on Bond Street.

1937Dissatisfied with fauvist, cubist and abstract experiments in visual representation he founds a school at 12 Fitzroy Street on 4 October with Claude Rogers, Graham Bell, and William Coldstream.
Director of Painting at Camberwell School of Art, London.1943
Moves to Blackheath, London, where he abandons visual representation in painting and begins to experiment in purely abstract form based on cubist collages and geometric figures.1945-46
Exhibited his first abstract paintings at the London Group and in a one-person show at the Redfern Gallery.1948
Left Camberwell School to teach at the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts, headed by William Johnstone, who had introduced a foundation course after the Bauhaus model.1949
1952-53Experimented with abstract reliefs in a deliberately impersonal manner.
1953Appointed Head of the Department of Painting at King’s College, Durham University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Established “The Developing Process”, a course of studies in “Basic Form” within the department of painting and sculpture.
Retrospective of works from 1944-54 organized by Lawrence Alloway at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London.
1954Appointed Consulting Director of Urban Design for the South West Area, Peterlee New Town in Country Durham. Retrospective show of works from 1926 to 1954 at the Arts Council Gallery, Cambridge.
1959Awarded the C.B.E.
Included in the 5th International Art Exhibition, Tokyo and the section of “Art since 1945” for Documenta II, Kassel, West Germany.
Represented Britain at the XXX Venice Biennale with a retrospective exhibition which later travelled throughout Europe.
Left Newcastle University and returned to Blackheath to paint full-time. Joined Marlborough Gallery, London.1960
Appointed a Trustee of the Tate Gallery.1962-63
Began working in Graphics first with Kelpra Studios in London and later with 2RC Workshop in Rome.1963-64
Retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery.
Represented Britain at the VIII Sao Paulo Biennale. Show later travelled through South America.
One-person exhibitions at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
Joined the Galleria Lorenzelli, Milan.
1965
Moved to Malta where he acquired a house and studio.1966
1972Video: The Image in Search of Itself, produced by John Pasmore.
1974Exhibition of Graphics at the Galleria 2RC, Rome.
1975Exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta.
1976Grand Prix d’Honneur at the International Graphics Biennale, Ljubljana.
Thames & Hudson, London, and Rizzoli, New York, publish catalogue Raisonné of works 1926-1979.1980 
Exhibition at Amano Gallery, Osaka, Japan.1981
Made Companion of Honour.1982
Commissioned to design the stage for a new ballet “Apollo” at the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden.
Elected Royal Academician and received the Charles Wollaston Award.
1983
Awarded Honorary degrees from the Royal College of Art and the University of Warwick.
Exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais.
1985
1990Selects The Artist’s Eye exhibition at the National Gallery, London.
1991Retrospective exhibition at Serpentine Gallery, London.
1991Lund Humphries, London, publish catalogue raisonné of works 1980-1992
1998Dies 23rd January, Malta.
Memorial group of works shown during the Royal Academy’s 230th Summer Exhibition.

This Biographic Timeline was adapted from: http://victorpasmore.com/html/index.htm (Accessed: 04.04.2018)

Appendix A

[1] Sensory World, 1996 was sold during session 5 held on Saturday 24th February 2018 and was assigned lot no. 837.

[2] https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bloomsbury-auctions/catalogue-id-blooms10006/lot-6d8d3ed5-4281-4602-8056-a3f6016074ab (Accessed: 24.05.2018)

[3] During his time in Malta he often commuted to Rome to oversee the printing process. In fact, it is during his Malta period where most of his prints were produced. His printing practice will be discussed in further detail below.

[4] Spalding, Frances 2017 Victor Pasmore: Between Risk and Equilibrium, London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.

[5] Biography http://www.victorpasmore.com/html/biography.htm (Accessed: 04.04.2018)

[6] Spalding, 2017.

[7] Watkins, Nicholas 2001 ‘An Interview with Victor Pasmore’ The Burlington Magazine 143, 1178 (May, 2001), 284-289; 284.

[8] Bowness, Alan 1960 ‘The Paintings and Constructions of Victor Pasmore’ The Burlington Magazine 102, 686 (May, 1960), 198-205; 202.

[9] Abstract in White, Black, Maroon and Ochre, 1957-1966, 2018 ‘Lot Essay’ in https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/victor-pasmore-ch-ra-abstract-in-white-6152169-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6152169&sid=478b4299-56a0-4425-adf3-68c46eee304c (Accessed 10.08.2018)

[10] Grieve, Alistair 2010 Victor Pasmore London: Tate Publishing; 104.

[11] Failoni, Margaret, Zamboni, GiovannaNotes on the Artist’s Printmaking’, in Failoni, Margaret, Zamboni, Giovanna eds, 1980 Victor Pasmore: with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Constructions and Graphics (1926-1979), London: Thames & Hudson, 1980, 265-266; 266.

[12] Grieve, 2010; 104.

[13] England, Richard, 2016 ‘Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) Personal Recollections’, Treasures of Malta, 66, XXII, 3, 2016, 23.

[14] England, 2010; 23.

[15] Reichardt, J. 1972 Pasmore in Malta: Some Questions Posed by Jasia Reichardt, Art International, 20 March 1972; 50-53; As cited in: https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/victor-pasmore-ra-soft-is-the-sound-6116222-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6116222&sid=94012565-5791-4c95-9dbb-db499ac8287f (Accessed on: 09.08.2018)

[16] Watkins, Nicholas 2001 ‘An Interview with Victor Pasmore’ The Burlington Magazine 143, 1178 (May, 2001), 284-289; 289.

[17] For more information about Dar Gamri see: Mulcahy, Allan 2017 A Place in the Sun https://www.ribaj.com/buildings/dar-gamri-the-home-of-victor-and-wendy-pasmore-in-malta-italy (Accessed 10.08.2018)

[18] Grieve, Alistair 2010 Victor Pasmore London: Tate Publishing; 106.

[19] Grieve, 2010.

[20] Apart from Victor Pasmore, British sculptor Henry Moore and Italian artist Lucio Fontana were amongst the artists who frequented 2RC Gallery. 2RC Gallery, The History, http://www.2rcgallery.com/modules/library/article.php?storyid=2&lang=english (Accessed: 09.08.2018)

[21] Ibid.

[22] Failoni, Margaret, Zamboni, GiovannaNotes on the Artist’s Printmaking’, in Failoni, Margaret, Zamboni, Giovanna eds, 1980 Victor Pasmore: with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Constructions and Graphics (1926-1979), London: Thames & Hudson, 1980, 265-266; 265.

[23] Ibid; 265-266.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Magic Eye Suite, 1995 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/pasmore-magic-eye-suite-66006 (Accessed: 09.08.2018)

[26] Pasmore’s prints are housed in the TATE Modern’s Prints and Drawings room in London. An online catalogue of his work can be viewed here: https://www.tate.org.uk/search?aid=1744&type=artwork&wot=4%2C5 (Accessed: 09.08.2018)

[27] Greive, 2010. Exhibition at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham: https://www.lakesidearts.org.uk/exhibitions/event/3234/victor-pasmore.html (Accessed 09.08.2018)

[28] Borg, Katya 2006 Abstract Painting in Malta in the 1980s: Its Character and Development within an International Context Unpublished Masters Dissertation, History of Art, Malta; 35.

[29] Personal communication with Prof. Joseph Paul Cassar.

FigureDescription & Reference
Fig.1Victor Pasmore, Sensory World, 1996, Etching and Aquatint, Signed and Dated in Pencil, numbered 34/35
Fig.2Victor Pasmore and his wife, Wendy Pasmore, at Dar Gamri in Gudja
Fig.3Victor Pasmore at Rossi’s print studio in Rome, 1977
Fig.4Victor Pasmore, Sensory World 5, 1996, coloured aquatint, etching on vellum, 28.9 x 51 .0 cm.
Fig.4.1Victor Pasmore, Magic Eye 1, 1995, Etching Aquatint on Paper, 30 x 32.5, Tate Modern
Fig.5Victor Pasmore (centre) with Richard England (left) and Gabriel Caruana (right), 1996

Magic Eye Suite, 1995 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/pasmore-magic-eye-suite-66006 (Accessed 09.08.2018)

Mulcahy, Allan 2017 A Place in the Sun https://www.ribaj.com/buildings/dar-gamri-the-home-of-victor-and-wendy-pasmore-in-malta-italy (Accessed 10.08.2018)

Reichardt, J. 1972 Pasmore in Malta: Some Questions Posed by Jasia Reichardt, Art International, 20 March 1972; As cited in https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/victor-pasmore-ra-soft-is-the-sound-6116222-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6116222&sid=94012565-5791-4c95-9dbb-db499ac8287f

 

Print Sources:

Borg, Katya 2006 Abstract Painting in Malta in the 1980s: Its Character and Development within an International Context Unpublished Masters Dissertation, History of Art, Malta

Bowness, Alan 1960 ‘The Paintings and Constructions of Victor Pasmore’ The Burlington Magazine 102, 686 (May, 1960), 198-205; 202.

England, Richard, 2016 ‘Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) Personal Recollections’, Treasures of Malta, 66, XXII, 3, 2016, 23.

Failoni, Margaret, Zamboni, GiovannaNotes on the Artist’s Printmaking’, in Failoni, Margaret, Zamboni, Giovanna eds, 1980 Victor Pasmore: with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Constructions and Graphics (1926-1979), London: Thames & Hudson, 1980, 265-266

Grieve, Alistair 2010 Victor Pasmore London: Tate Publishing

Spalding, Frances 2017 Victor Pasmore: Between Risk and Equilibrium, London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.

Watkins, Nicholas 2001 ‘An Interview with Victor Pasmore’ The Burlington Magazine 143, 1178 (May, 2001), 284-289

Web Sources:

2RC Gallery, The History, http://www.2rcgallery.com/modules/library/article.php?storyid=2&lang=english (Accessed: 09.08.2018)

Abstract in White, Black, Maroon and Ochre, 1957-1966, 2018 ‘Lot Essay’ in https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/victor-pasmore-ch-ra-abstract-in-white-6152169-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6152169&sid=478b4299-56a0-4425-adf3-68c46eee304c (Accessed 10.08.2018)

Abstract: art that does not attempt to represent external reality or imitate life in any way. Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, colour and line to create a composition.

Alfred Chircop (1933 – 2015): was a Maltese artist best known for his purely abstract style. He attended the Malta Government School of Art, the Accademia Pietro Vannucci in Perugia, Bath Academy of Art at Corsham UK and Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. He was also an art educator, most notably teaching at the University of Malta. His abstract work is characterised by its bright colours which are swirled across his canvasses to produce the final art work.

Antoine Camilleri MQR (1922 – 2005): was a Maltese artist and he is considered to be one of the foremost pioneers of modern art in Malta. His early training was carried out with Dwardu Zammit before he attended the Malta Government School of Arts in Valletta, under the tutorship of Edward Caruana Dingli. Between 1948-1950 he attended the École Superieure des Beaux Arts, in Paris where he studied under Prof. Nicolas Unterstellar a stained-glass expert. He is best known for his repetitive self-representation, representation of the female figure as well as his depiction of Maltese culture and heritage. Camilleri experimented a lot with various media and developed a unique technique which used local clay which was encased in resin. The artist also produced lino prints, oil paintings and affixed found objects to his work using resin.

Aquatint: a printing technique and a variant of etching. It resembles watercolour and is made by etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading.

Charles Biederman (1906 – 2004): was an American Abstract artist. Biederman was born in Cleveland in 1906 to Czech immigrant parents. He studied at the Cleveland Art Institute and his work is characterised by his three-dimensional reliefs which do not make reference to the figurative world.

Composition: is the placement or arrangement of visual elements in a work of art, particularly a painting.

Controlled Environment: is a space that buffers external environs, temperature fluctuations. Artworks in a controlled environment should be exhibited in stable humidity and temperatures and kept away from direct sunlight and high intensity lighting.

Etching: is traditionally the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal. In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may be used on other types of material.

Figurative: a term which describes a work of art that is clearly referenced and derived from real life sources and is therefore directly representational of an object or form. It is often imitative of life and nature.

Gabriel Caruana MQR (1929 – 2018): was a twentieth century Maltese ceramicist and pioneer of Modern Art in Malta. His work is characterised by its bright colours and semi-abstract figures which are sculpted in clay. His early training in sculpture was at the Malta Government School of Arts, where he attended classes by George Borg, Emvin Cremona and foremost Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap.

Impressionism: is a nineteenth century art movement. The movement’s main emphasis was on the accurate depiction of light and its changing qualities. Due to the invention and popularisation of photography artists sought to include and emphasize movement as a crucial element of human experience. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s. Amongst the most prominent impressionists were Claude Monet, Pierre- August Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pisarro, Mary Cassat and Berthe Marisot.

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851): Turner was a Romantic British artist who is often heralded as the pre-cursor to Impressionism. He is best known for his portrayal of turbulent weather conditions in landscapes and seascapes. At the age of 14 he started studying at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Post-Impressionism: developed roughly between 1886 and 1905. Post-Impressionism emerged as reaction against the Impressionist concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour. The most prominent artists belonging to the movement are Paul Cézanne (also known as the movement’s pioneer), Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh. The term Post-Impressionism was first used by art critic Roger Fry in 1906.

Printing: Printmaking (a form of graphic art) is a means of producing multiple images, each of these is called a print. Prints are created from a single original surface, known as a plate.

Richard England (1937 – ): is an architect, writer, poet and artist. England graduated in Architecture at the University of Malta and continued his studies in Italy at the Milan Polytechnic while working as a student-architect in the studio of the Italian architect-designer Gio Ponti. His best-known local buildings include the Church of St Joseph, Manikata; the Central Bank of Malta Annexe, Valletta; the Millennium Chapel, St. Julians; and the rehabilitation of the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta.