For his fourth one-man exhibition, which can be
currently viewed at the Vee Gee Bee Art Gallery
in Valletta, Gozitan artist Mark Sagona has
chosen the title Visions of Light.
Born in Victoria in 1976, Sagona first came into
the scene in 2000 with his exhibition
Analytical Forms, which was held at the
Ministry for Gozo in his home town. This was
followed by the Recent Insights
exhibition at the Banca Giuratale in Victoria in
2004 and subsequently by Manifesting the Soul,
which took place in the same year at St James
Cavalier. But apart from his personal
exhibitions he has also been taking part in
numerous collective exhibitions in Malta and
Gozo since 1992.
As the title of the present collection makes
out, it is light that constitutes the essential
raw element of these 20 abstract compositions.
All the works, in oil, acrylic or mixed media on
canvas, are uniformly titled Visions of Light
with just an appended number in Roman numerals
to make a distinction between them. The
majority of them (16 in all) are dated 2005,
with the remaining four belonging to 2006.
Mark Sagona comes from an artistically-inclined
family. His father Joseph (b.1942) is a
well-known painter, sculptor and decorator,
while his sister Nicoline equally belongs to the
rising generation of young artists.
As for himself, he availed himself initially of
his father’s tuition, followed by further
studies at the School of Art in Valletta, at
Tarġa Gap in Mosta under Anton Calleja, and at
the University. Today he teaches at the Ninu
Cremona Lyceum Complex in Victoria as well as
being visiting lecturer at the University of
Malta and at the Gozo centre of the University.
From what I have seen so far, Sagona is
proficient with the abstract genre. It was
quite evident with his previous exhibition at St
James Cavalier, though it has now transpired
that the current work is definitively more
imbued with light than it had ever been before.
The exhibition comes up with a handsomely handy
catalogue, which illustrates all the exhibits in
full colour. It carries an introduction by
Dennis Vella who notes, among other things, that
Sagona “does not lose himself unduly in small
formal modules; he aims rather at grand,
sweeping constructions that invariably engulf
the spectator, inducing a level of engagement
that comes close to intimacy”.
The constructive element in these works
possesses a wide range in such a manner that we
cannot in any way speak of a repetitive
process. Colours are bolstered with
impetuosity, but in the main they stick roughly
to the three primary colours and their
respective tonalities. Occasionally the palette
is toned down, as with VI, with its
superimposition of light bluish tones, as
opposed to the aggressive chromatic belonging of
At times the composition is tight (see XII) or
else more relaxed as with the horizontal format
of XV and XVI. In most cases the general
feeling is that of linearity, though there are
also instances where the curvilinear element, as
can be noted with V, XV and XIX, is
The chromatic impulses as so visibly attained in
these works by Mark Sagona, apart from opening
up new windows for his exploration of light,
that they should be sound pointers towards his
evolving relationship with the medium of paint.
The exhibition continues till Saturday. After
that it will be transferred to the art..e
gallery in Library Street in Victoria where it
will be open between May 5 and 25.
The Sunday Times
(of Malta), 23 April 2006