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MICAS Opens Doors With Stellar Roster Of International Artists

MICAS Opens Doors With Stellar Roster Of International Artists
Jun 17 2024 Share

Joana Vasconcelos, celebrated Portuguese conceptual artist whose grand sculptures enthral millions, hosted by Malta Contemporary in 2024

A stellar roster of visionary artists is poised to redefine Malta’s cultural landscape this year: with the Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS) preparing for its grand debut with an inaugural line-up of artists that will thrust Malta on the global art map.

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The Portuguese conceptual artist Joana Vasconcelos, African-American artist Reggie Burrows Hodges as well as a Milton Avery survey with work by contemporary artists inspired by Avery, are the sensational highlights of Malta’s first-ever contemporary art museum and its meticulously-crafted programme of five diverse exhibitions stretching into 2026.

MICAS opens its doors in October 2024, where the public will enjoy the restored 17th century Ospizio fortress, expansive indoor gallery spaces, outdoor sculpture gardens and a café.
Artistic director Edith Devaney says the carefully developed selection process has been designed to present exhibitions of the highest quality. “It develops original ideas and honours diversity, and develops relationships with global artists and museums,” Devaney, who until recently was senior curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, says.

With Vasconcelos – recently commissioned to outfit the stage for Christian Dior’s 2023- 2024 Paris Fashion Week show – Malta Contemporary’s opening exhibition will be colourful and exuberant, with wide resonance and relevance to the museum’s visitors, both local and international.

“A core selection of installations that focus on the domestic will be presented alongside three major works that connect with the contemplative side of human existence – Tree of LifeThe Garden of Eden and Valkyrie Mumbet,” Devaney says.

Ray Pitrè, Figure in Sticks, 1969.

Ray Pitrè, Figure in Sticks, 1969.

Vasconcelos will form a deep engagement with Malta for her exhibition, which also celebrates MICAS’s contemporary architecture. Her work will be presented in the ‘raw’ building, before the internal museum structure is installed, revealing the natural beauty of the excavated and historic walls of the Ospizio washed in the natural light that flows throughout.

“A Joana Vasconcelos exhibition presents the perfect opening exhibition for MICAS as it invites visitors to step into her magical vision and in doing so, explore the museum and its campus,” Devaney says, adding that all international artists working with Malta Contemporary are challenged to leverage Malta and its culture to inform their approach to the selection and placement of work in the galleries.

In November 2024, MICAS will also celebrate a major, newly commissioned sculpture by the celebrated Maltese artist Ray Pitre, which will be permanently and prominently positioned within the campus as part of MICAS’s permanent collection.
“We are proud that our programme establishes an identity for this contemporary museum in a crowded global art scene while reaffirming our artistic independence,” says Phyllis Muscat, CEO and Chair of the MICAS board. “This sets MICAS apart from other government-funded cultural organisations and aligns us with international not-for-profit museums.”

Nicolas Party, Sunrise, 2018.

Nicolas Party, Sunrise, 2018.

Future exhibitions

Future exhibitions will feature works from master colourist Milton Avery – who influenced artists like Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko – and Reggie Burrows Hodges with a new exhibition of work, much of which has been created for Malta Contemporary.
A core body of paintings from the hugely respected American artist Milton Avery will also mark a first for Malta in 2025: rarely has Avery’s work been seen in Europe. With, amongst others, Harold Ancart, March Avery, Gary Hume and Nicolas Party, the exhibition will be a captivating study of how contemporary art remains rooted in Modernism, revealing these artists’ debt to Avery’s compositions and unique approach to colour.

In 2026, African-American artist Reggie Burrows Hodges will bring a visual narrative that explores questions of identity, community and memory. “A pillar of the programme will be to showcase the work of global artists who have earned recognition from their singular approach to creating art,” Devaney says.

Maltese contemporary art

In 2025, “Malta In Focus” will host Malta’s leading contemporary artists, illustrating the richness of contemporary Maltese practice from Caesar Attard, Austin Camilleri, Joyce Camilleri and Anton Grech, and more. “This marks Malta’s Contemporary’s commitment to celebrate Maltese art at its highest form and bringing it to a wider international stage,” Devaney says.

“Malta in Focus” will be a curated exhibition occupying all the gallery spaces and will feature the work of leading Malta-based contemporary artists. Selected and installed around the concept of imagined space, the exhibition will include artists from several different generations, working across differing media and it will illustrate the depth and richness of contemporary art practice in Malta. It will also mark the beginning of regular exhibitions within the programme that explore and showcase Malta-based art within a global context.

The €30 million MICAS, part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund, is set to strengthen Malta’s cultural infrastructure with its platform for contemporary art and internationalisation.
“The MICAS mission is to be an advocate of contemporary art by raising public awareness to the significance of the visual arts in contemporary life, and by bringing to the forefront the way art and artists help mediate and interpret the world we live in,” says CEO Phyllis Muscat, who has seen MICAS coming into shape over the last five years of construction.

Leading up to 2024, MICAS has displayed works in several outdoor spaces across Malta from artists including Conrad Shawcross, Ugo Rondinone, Pierre Huyghe, Cristina Iglesias and Michele Oka Doner.

March Avery, Karen, 1968

March Avery, Karen, 1968

MICAS Board and International Committee

Alongside CEO and Chair of the Board Phyllis Muscat, MICAS is supported by Artistic Director Edith Devaney.
Board members include Mr Francis Sultana, Dr Georgina Portelli, Dr Claire Cassar, Ms Gabriella Agius, Mr Patrick Camilleri and Mr Martin Scicluna; and International Committee chair and member, respectively, Waqas Wajahat, collector, curator, and museum trustee who works closely with museums to organise exhibitions, and Timothy Rub, the celebrated George D. Widener Emeritus Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

MICAS is a Government of Malta infrastructural legacy project for the Culture and the Arts sector that is part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014- 2020.

Please visit www.micas.art for more information and follow @micasmalta on Instagram to follow MICAS’s journey to opening.

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Italy’s Mascots Shocked By National Anthem

Italy's Mascots Shocked By National Anthem
Jun 17 2024 Share

It’s become a bit of a tradition – if not a meme – that Italy’s players really – and we really do mean really – go for it when singing their country’s national anthem.

And as often happens, the little mascots accompanying them ahead of the match are taken aback by the sheer force the Italians channel their singing prowess.

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Italy’s national anthem, “Il Canto degli Italiani” (“The Song of Italians”), was composed in 1847 with lyrics by Goffredo Mameli and music by Michele Novaro.

Commonly known as “Inno di Mameli” (“Mameli’s Hymn”) or “Fratelli d’Italia” (“Brothers of Italy”) after its opening line, this patriotic song is well-known among football fans and has accompanied many of the Azzurri’s historic victories.

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Gordon Ramsey Shows off Scary Bruise from Bike Accident

Gordan Ramsey Shows off Scary Bruise from Bike Accident
Jun 17 2024 Share

Chef Gordon Ramsey has described feeling shaken after a really bad cycling accident he had in the US.He went to social media and posted a video showcasing a substantial purple bruising on his torso for which he required hospital treatment.

“This week, unfortunately, I had a really bad accident, ad it really shook me, and honestly , I’m lucky to be here.”, Ramsay said.

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The “Kitchen Nightmares” presenter continued: ” Those incredible trauma surgeons, doctors, nurses in the hospitals looked after me this week. They were amazing, but honestly, you’ve got to wear helmets”

 

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A post shared by Gordon Ramsay (@gordongram)

He also clarified that he did not break any bones or suffer any major injuries but was “a bit bruised up looking like a purple potato.” Ramsey also shared before and after photographs of the state of the helmet from the accident.

The father of six signed off by wishing people a Happy Father’s Day. “I want to wish you all a happy Father’s Day, but please, please, please, wear a helmet. If I didn’t , honestly , I wouldn’t be here now.”

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Eriksen Defies Odds In Grand Euro 2024 Comeback

Eriksen Defies Odds In Grand Euro 2024 Comeback
Jun 17 2024 Share

Christian Eriksen scored Denmark’s opening goal against Slovenia at Euro 2024, a moment of particular significance given his collapse from cardiac arrest during Euro 2020.

Three years ago, Eriksen’s life was saved on the pitch after he collapsed during Denmark’s match against Finland. Following the incident, he received an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), which prevents fatal cardiac arrests.

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Eriksen’s goal against Slovenia came 1,100 days after his cardiac arrest. He skillfully took Jonas Wind’s back-heel on his chest before volleying into the bottom corner, celebrating with a wide grin—a stark contrast to the distressing scenes in 2020, when his teammates shielded him from view as he received life-saving treatment.

After his recovery, Eriksen resumed his career, moving from Inter Milan to Brentford and then to Manchester United. Reflecting on his experience, Eriksen shared, “Even after a bad time, there’s always a time after where everything will be different. It’s just going to go up and down – time is your best friend.”

Despite Eriksen’s inspiring goal, Denmark drew 1-1 with Slovenia, as Erik Janža’s deflected shot equalized in the 77th minute of the Group C game.

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