Born on the small Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta in 1976, Mark Sagona is a painter, designer, art historian and lecturer. He has come a long way to establish himself as one of the leading Maltese artists of his generation, winning a reputation for his artistic commitment. Since his first personal exhibition in November 2000, Sagona’s art has moved on to research, interpret and explore a wide array of themes in a distinct personal timbre. In particular, he has associated himself with the abstract genre.
Sagona was exposed to art from a very young age in the studio of his father Joseph (b.1942), whom he assisted in various projects of ecclesiastical decoration. Although he started exhibiting his works as early as 1992, the start of his artistic breakthrough came, however, when he moved to Malta as a student at the University of Malta in 1995, establishing close contacts with artist and scholar Joseph Paul Cassar (b.1958). Concurrently he frequented the Malta Government School of Art, Valletta (1996-1998), and the Life Class (1998-1999) under Anthony Calleja (b.1955). It was also in the late 1990’s that he started visiting important art collections in Europe which assisted and informed him in his developing artistic language.
The art of Mark Sagona has featured in several personal and collective exhibitions, both in Malta and Gozo, and abroad. He has, to date, organised six personal exhibitions in the Maltese Islands, publishing various exhibition catalogues with studies by leading art critics and scholars. In September 2006, he was selected to represent Malta, together with photographer Joe P. Smith, in the first edition of the international festival Il Lazio tra Europa e Mediterraneo, held in Rome under the auspices of the Regione Lazio and the President of Italy. Between January and March 2010, one of his abstract works was exhibited at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Sagona has also produced works for theatre and opera and has designed various official posters for cultural and educational initiatives. In 2008, he was also entrusted with the design for a new processional pedestal and predella for the titular statue of the Virgin for the parish church of Fleur-de-Lys in Malta, which is currently being produced in wood and bronze.
In 2007, Mark Sagona was selected for inclusion in the ISIDEM database project of a select number of modern and contemporary Maltese Artists, coordinated by the National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta (Heritage Malta), the Comune di Scicli and the Universita’ di Catania (Sicily). He also received awards for his abstract works in the 2005 and 2007 editions of the Malta International Art Biennale. Sagona also features in the Dictionary of Maltese Biographies (PIN, Malta 2009).
Mark Sagona is also active in the fields of art-historical academic research, scholarship and education. He holds a First Class B.A.(Hons.) (1999) and M.A. with Distinction (2003) in History of Art from the University of Malta, and has conducted research, published papers and delivered lectures on various aspects of Art. His numerous studies have been published in several art publications, and in Treasures of Malta, The Sunday Times of Malta, and The Gozo Observer, among others. Venues for public lectures include the University of Malta, the Heritage Malta Head Office, Valletta, and the Conference Hall, Ministry for Gozo, Victoria and various churches. His research has thrown new light on a significant number of hitherto unidentified works of art by various important Maltese artists. In 2000 he was appointed a teacher of Art and Design with the Education Department of Malta, and presently lectures at the Sir Michelangelo Refalo Centre for Further Studies, Victoria, Gozo.
Since 2004, he is also a visiting lecturer with the Department of History of Art, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta, where he has served as a dissertation tutor and member of various examination boards. Mark Sagona is also a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art at the University of Malta.
Works by Mark Sagona are scattered in numerous public and private collections in the Maltese Islands and in Australia, Italy, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Luxemburg, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Sagona’s art also features in various local and international publications.