Mario Agius Sculptor
Exhibitions by Mario Agius

Love in Diversity

Mario Agius has fully embarked on producing simplified yet expressive sculptures imbued with a certain naïveté reminiscent of primitive and popular ethnic art. His exploratory instinct prompts him to find meaning and significance in a log, entangled roots, strangly-shaped tree branches, a honeycomb eroded stone. The incidental natural shape and texture of the basic material very often determines the final outcome.

Mario sculps curvaceous shapes or flattened figures in low relief with a certain economy. He disturbs the natural shape of the material as little as possible. In fact he tends to turn to advantage the various natural features such as wood knots and perforations..
The current exhibition is a clear indication that the subject of intimacy, fecundity and maternity has fascinated Mario Agius. Love in its diversity is once again a predominating theme.

Joe Camilleri


» View works from Love In Diversity

 

A potpourri of experiences

Mario’s penchant for figurative sculpture is the outcome of an obvious and natural course. For years he has been providing various churches and other establishments with functional and decorative furniture where sculpture in low and high relief features as an applied art. The current exhibition comes as no surprise, perhaps with the exception of his stone carvings.

However, Mario’s exploratory instinct prompts him to discover meaning and life not only in planed and finished wood, but also in a log, a cut-off branch of a tree, a piece of drift wood and a weathered stone. It is the natural or incidental shape of the material itself that arouses his imagination and determines he final artistic product; so he treats the material with due respect. He carves with a certain economy, taking into consideration the solidity and massiveness of the stone, or else the varied interesting textures of logs and tree branches. Logs are stripped off their bark or kept to create textural contrasts with finished and smoothed areas.

The sculptures on display are not limited to one particular theme. One could discern a miscellany of subject matter. However, themes such as family union, fecundity and maternity predominate.

The simple and curvaceous pieces sculpted in soft globigerina limestone as well as certain dual facets remind me of the stupendous works of Gozitan sculptors Joe Xuereb and Rebecca Vella respectively. Moreover, one cannot deny certain marked influences from oeuvre of the renowned Maltese contemporary artist Anton Agius whose creativity rests undisputed. After all, Anton was Mario’s mentor.

However, Mario Agius displays efforts to investigate his material, to experiment with creativity and finally to form his own artistic idiom. Certain natural features such as wood knots, could offer an unlimited potential once the artist gives vent to his imagination. And besides exploiting a variety of materials, Mario makes use of their particular features to enhance his expressionist renderings. Natural blemishes in the wood, coupled with figurative distortions or anatomical disproportions could be arresting if not out rightly shocking. The fetal-like composition entitled Vulnerability is a case in point. Approaching is another piece where disproportion of an elongated figure is used to advantage to create a long stride. Certain rigid or incorrect anatomical renderings may raise an eyebrow. However, they have been done purposely to create a disquieting effect in the spectator.

All in all, some of these sculptures display simplicity, a certain naïveté reminiscent of primitive art and popular ethnic art. This characteristic could be turned to advantage if developed with the right artistic flair.

Joe Camilleri
Victoria, Gozo.

 

Collective Exhibitions

  • "Art Discussion Group Anniversary 1987 - 2014"
  • "A Tale of City 2", Imdina, September 2015
  • "Identita", at Palazzo Pereira in Valletta, October 2014
  • "Bieganski Art Festival", at Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, August 2014
  • "A Tale of a City", Malta Chamber or Commerce, Enterpise and Industry, Valletta, October 2013
  • "IncantARTI alla Domus", International Art Exhibition in Rome at Domus Talenti in Via Quattro Fontane, Rome, September 2013
  • Sacred Art Exhibiton Biennale, at Razzett tal-Ħbiberija Mosta, September 2013
  • Sacred Art Exhibiton Biennale, Cittadella Victoria Gozo, August 2013
  • A Collective exhibition organized by Art Club 2000 at Art Club 2000 at Mellieha, September 2013
  • A Collective exhibition organized by Art Club 2000 at Art Centre at Cittadella Gozo, August 2013
  • A Collective exhibition organized by Art Club 2000 at Mdina Local Council Hall at Imdina, July 2013
  • "Gozo Art & Antiques" Exhibtion, Victoria Gozo, April 2012
  • "Community 2012" organized by The CoMA Art Exhibition, The Citadel, Victoria Gozo, March 2012
  • "Arti fit-Toroq" - Monument Competition organized by Ministry for Gozo. The sculpture 'Kommunita' and 'Il-Hajja' were shortlisted and subsequently mario Agius was commissioned to sculpt in wood the lifesize monument 'Kommunita', 2011 - 2012
  • "Sacred Art Biennale 2011" organized by JP2 Foundation, Cittadel Victoria Gozo, May 2011
  • "Eros & Kenosis" - Collective Art Exhibition organized by the ADG group and curated by Mr. E.V. Borg at St. Julian's Hotel, Malta, June 2011
  • "10th Salon International Exhibition organized by Groupemant Artistique Nantes Facade Atlantique" (GANFA) in Nantes, France, the artist was awarded a silver medal, 2010
  • "Ferrario Art Competition" organized by Art Academy Gallery. The artist was awarded 1st Price, November 2010
  • Unity in Diversity - Collective Art Exhibition in De La Salle Palace, Valletta 5th May 2010
  • “Gozitan Art Exhibition”, San Anton Palace, Attard under the patronage of His Excellency George Abela, President of Malta, October 2009
  • “The Gozo Fine Art & Sculpture Exhibition”, 2009
  • A collective Exhibition, Hamburg, Germany, July 2009
  • “Rotary Art Exhibition” Citadella Centre for the Arts, Victoria, September 2008, 2009
  • “Ir-Rotta ta’ l-Arti”, PN Headquarters, Pieta, September 2008
  • “Notte Bianca”, Valletta, October 2006,2007
  • “Collective Art Exhibition”, Victory Band Club, Xaghra, April 2007
  • “Santa Marija u l-Katidral t’Ghawdex”, Ministry for Gozo, May 2006
  • “Eden Foundation”, Victoria, Gozo 2006-2010
  • “Gozitan Art Exhibition”, Visby, Gotland, Sweden, 2001
  • “Ggantija Art Festival”, Xaghra, July 1999
  • Contributed in the sculpting of sculptures which were put in an installation by Budingen, H, photographed and published in a book entitled: Budingen, Hans et. al (1995) in Gozo
  • “Prelude to Summer”, Hotel ta’ Cenc, July 1994
  • “Wildlife in Danger”, London, 1992
  • Exhibition for the opening of the School of Arts, Gozo, 1991
  • Exhibition at the Exhibition Halls of the Parliamentary Secreteriate for Gozo, 1989


Personal Exhibitions

  • "Agius 3" - May 2016
  • "Vitae" at Gozo Seminary - March 2015
  • "Is-Sħubija fin-Natura", at Razzett tal-Markiż, Mosta in Malta, April - May 2014
  • "Rinascita", at Cavalieri Hotel, St Julians in Malta, June 2013
  • Natura - Personal Art Exhibition of recent sculptures in Palazzo Castellania, Valletta 4th September 2010
  • Marzi Art International Gallery, Hamburg, Germany, August 2009
  • ‘Love In Diversity’ art..e Gallery, Victoria Gozo, February 2009
  • A joint exhibition with Girio Marsili, organized by St. James Cavalier - Centre for Creative, Valletta, August 2008
  • Nature Exalted – Banca Giuratale, Victoria, June 2008